Impatient Perl

version: 9 September 2010
Copyright 2004-2010 Greg London

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under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3
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Free Documentation License".

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For latest version of this work go to:
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Table of Contents
1 The Impatient Introduction to Perl..........................................................................................................7
1.1 The history of perl in 100 words or less..........................................................................................7
1.2 Basic Formatting for this Document...............................................................................................7
1.3 Do You Have Perl Installed.............................................................................................................8
1.4 Your First Perl Script, EVER..........................................................................................................9
1.5 Default Script Header......................................................................................................................9
1.6 Free Reference Material................................................................................................................10
1.7 Cheap Reference Material.............................................................................................................10
1.8 Acronyms and Terms....................................................................................................................10
2 Storage..................................................................................................................................................11
2.1 Scalars...........................................................................................................................................11
2.1.1 Scalar Strings.........................................................................................................................12
2.1.1.1 String Literals.................................................................................................................12
2.1.1.2 Single quotes versus Double quotes..............................................................................13
2.1.1.3 chomp.............................................................................................................................13
2.1.1.4 concatenation.................................................................................................................13
2.1.1.5 repetition........................................................................................................................13
2.1.1.6 length..............................................................................................................................13
2.1.1.7 substr..............................................................................................................................13
2.1.1.8 split.................................................................................................................................14
2.1.1.9 join.................................................................................................................................14
2.1.1.10 qw.................................................................................................................................15
2.1.1.11 Multi-Line Strings, HERE Documents........................................................................15
2.1.2 Scalar Numbers......................................................................................................................16
2.1.2.1 Numeric Literals............................................................................................................16
2.1.2.2 Numeric Functions.........................................................................................................16
2.1.2.3 abs..................................................................................................................................16
2.1.2.4 int...................................................................................................................................16
2.1.2.5 trigonometry (sin,cos)....................................................................................................17
2.1.2.6 exponentiation................................................................................................................17
2.1.2.7 sqrt..................................................................................................................................17
2.1.2.8 natural logarithms(exp,log)............................................................................................18
2.1.2.9 random numbers (rand, srand).......................................................................................18
2.1.3 Converting Between Strings and Numbers.......................................................................19
2.1.3.1 Stringify.........................................................................................................................19
2.1.3.1.1 sprintf.....................................................................................................................19
2.1.3.2 Numify...........................................................................................................................20
2.1.3.2.1 oct...........................................................................................................................21
2.1.3.2.2 hex..........................................................................................................................21
2.1.3.2.3 Base Conversion Overview....................................................................................21
2.1.4 Undefined and Uninitialized Scalars.....................................................................................22
2.1.5 Booleans................................................................................................................................23
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2.1.5.1 FALSE...........................................................................................................................24
2.1.5.2 TRUE.............................................................................................................................24
2.1.5.3 Comparators...................................................................................................................25
2.1.5.4 Logical Operators...........................................................................................................26
2.1.5.4.1 Default Values........................................................................................................27
2.1.5.4.2 Flow Control..........................................................................................................27
2.1.5.4.3 Precedence..............................................................................................................27
2.1.5.4.4 Assignment Precedence..........................................................................................27
2.1.5.4.5 Flow Control Precedence.......................................................................................28
2.1.5.4.6 Conditional Operator..............................................................................................28
2.1.6 References..............................................................................................................................29
2.1.7 Filehandles.............................................................................................................................31
2.1.8 Scalar Review........................................................................................................................32
2.2 Arrays............................................................................................................................................32
2.2.1 scalar (@array)......................................................................................................................33
2.2.2 push(@array, LIST)...............................................................................................................34
2.2.3 pop(@array)...........................................................................................................................34
2.2.4 shift(@array)..........................................................................................................................35
2.2.5 unshift( @array, LIST)..........................................................................................................35
2.2.6 foreach (@array)....................................................................................................................36
2.2.7 sort(@array)...........................................................................................................................37
2.2.8 reverse(@array).....................................................................................................................38
2.2.9 splice(@array).......................................................................................................................39
2.2.10 Undefined and Uninitialized Arrays....................................................................................39
2.3 Hashes...........................................................................................................................................39
2.3.1 exists ( $hash{$key} )............................................................................................................41
2.3.2 delete ( $hash{key} ).............................................................................................................42
2.3.3 keys( %hash ).........................................................................................................................42
2.3.4 values( %hash )......................................................................................................................43
2.3.5 each( %hash ).........................................................................................................................43
2.4 List Context...................................................................................................................................47
2.5 References.....................................................................................................................................49
2.5.1 Named Referents...................................................................................................................50
2.5.2 References to Named Referents.............................................................................................50
2.5.3 Dereferencing........................................................................................................................50
2.5.4 Anonymous Referents...........................................................................................................51
2.5.5 Complex Data Structures.......................................................................................................53
2.5.5.1 Autovivification.............................................................................................................54
2.5.5.2 Multidimensional Arrays...............................................................................................55
2.5.5.3 Deep Cloning, Deep Copy.............................................................................................56
2.5.5.4 Data Persistence.............................................................................................................56
2.5.6 Stringification of References.................................................................................................56
2.5.7 The ref() function...................................................................................................................57
3 Control Flow.........................................................................................................................................58
3.1 Labels............................................................................................................................................60
3.2 last LABEL;..................................................................................................................................60
3.3 next LABEL;.................................................................................................................................60
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........................................60 4 Packages and Namespaces and Lexical Scoping........................76 7 Code Reuse.68 5 Subroutines..................................................................................................1 Inheritance..........................................................................................................................78 9 The use Statement......................94 13.................................................88 11.........1 The @INC Array......83 11 Method Calls......................................................................................................2 Declaring Package Variables With our................................................................................................................................2 Garbage Collection and Subroutines...........................87 11...........................9 Subroutine Return Value................................6......................3 Package Variables inside a Lexical Scope..............72 5.........................6.........................................................................79 9...6 Garbage Collection......................................................................70 5..............................................................................................................................................................69 5.......................................................................................................................................................................88 11...........85 11.................7 Dereferencing Code References...............................................................5 Passing Arguments to/from a Subroutine..............................................................1 Reference Count Garbage Collection....................80 9...............................................................................................................................................................................................63 4..........63 4.8 Calling local() on Package Variables...................................................67 4.................................................................................................................................................................................10 Returning False.......4 The require Statement........................79 9.............................5 Lexical Variables..................2 The use lib Statement...........................................................................................................................................78 8 The use Statement........................................................................61 4........................................................75 6 Compiling and Interpreting..................66 4..........................3 INVOCANT->isa(BASEPACKAGE)...........................................................................12 The caller() function and $wantarray............................................................................................................................8 Implied Arguments..............................................................................65 4..............................................................2 Named Subroutines.............................5 Interesting Invocants..........................82 10 bless()...................................................................... Perl Modules...................................5 MODULENAME -> import (LISTOFARGS)..............73 5..........................................................................69 5..........................................6 Accessing Arguments inside Subroutines via @_................7 Package Variables Revisited...13 Context Sensitive Subroutines with wantarray().......................................................................................................................................................................................................................61 4...............................................73 5...........................1 Subroutine Sigil..................................................................................................................................3 The PERL5LIB and PERLLIB Environment Variables....90 13 Object Oriented Perl...............................................................2 Polymorphism......................................................................74 5...............62 4.........................................................................................................................................................................................70 5...............................................................71 5.......................................3........................................................................................................................................4 Lexical Scope...............................80 9..........................1 Package Declaration.....69 5.81 9...................... Formally..................................................................................................................71 5.............................4 Data::Dumper and subroutines...............................................................................................................................................................11 Using the caller() Function in Subroutines...........70 5...........................................2 use base..................................................3 Anonymous Subroutines........................................................88 12 Procedural Perl......................................................................................................................................6 The use Execution Timeline...........................................................................................................................................................................................4 redo LABEL.................94 4 .............................................................................................................................65 4........................................................90 13...........................75 5.................................................................................1 Class..................86 11............................................................................62 4........4 INVOCANT->can(METHODNAME)..............................80 9...........

...........................................................2 use Module......1 The system() function.....................................................................................................................3 Plain Old Documentation (POD) and perldoc....................................................................123 20............................................................................................................................................................1 $1.........................................................4 Metacharacters........................10 Position Assertions / Position Anchors.........................................................2 CPAN...................................................................................................................................... $2................100 15...........................114 19...............121 20............................................1 The \b Anchor..99 14...............................................................................104 17 Command Line Arguments........................................................124 20.................................................................113 19 Operating System Commands............................................................13...6 Character Classes...........98 14..............5...........................................................................3 SUPER...............................................................................................................114 20 Regular Expressions.................................................................................................97 14 Object Oriented Review................117 20......................1 Getopt::Declare Sophisticated Example..6..........................................................................................................116 20..................................114 19............................ The Web Site.....................................................................................112 18................10..........................................................................1 @ARGV........................................................................................................................4 Creating Modules for CPAN with h2xs.....................................................................................................110 18...............................................................104 17............................123 20.......................................105 17..........................................................................111 18......................................................................................................122 20..................1 Modules................99 14............................................115 20.........................100 15........................................................................................................................................98 14........8 Greedy (Maximal) Quantifiers..............................................................................................................................................................4 Methods..................................................................................................................................................................5 Inheritance.........................................................................................1 CPAN...................5 Capturing and Clustering Parenthesis.....1 Variable Interpolation..............................................98 14......108 18 File Input and Output..103 15............................................................................................................................................................................4 write...........10.............................................................121 20...................................................................................................................................................................................3 Operating System Commands in a GUI.........................1 Metacharacters Within Character Classes.....110 18.............................2 Getopt::Declare................................................... $3......................................................................................................................................110 18.................................3 read....4 Object Destruction.........120 20....................................................................................................................................................................................................125 5 .........................................................................95 13............................................................................6 Overriding Methods and SUPER............................................118 20..124 20.......................................................2 The Backtick Operator..5.......2 Capturing parentheses not capturing...........................112 18.................................120 20...98 14....................................................................................................................................................3 bless / constructors..........................................................................................................117 20.........7 File Tree Searching................................................99 15 CPAN.................................2 close...............................................110 18..............114 19........7 Shortcut Character Classes.................122 20........5 File Tests...............2.........2 Wildcard Example...............................................6 File Globbing.................................................................................................................................... The Perl Module...............................................107 17.............2 The \G Anchor.............................................103 16 The Next Level....1 open...................100 15......................................................................... etc Capturing parentheses.......................................................................................................................................................9 Thrifty (Minimal) Quantifiers............3 Defining a Pattern.....................................................................................................................................

...................................................................127 20....................................................135 23 GNU Free Documentation License...........131 21 Parsing with Parse::RecDescent...................................136 A quick explanation of the revision history....................... but the revision on 17 February 2009 is that reconstructed version..........................................127 20.............1 Global Modifiers.................................................................................. Enjoy! Greg London 6 .........................................13 Modifiers for s{}{} Operator............3 The x Modifier...........15 The qr{} function...................................................................... It might look like there's a four-line paragraph on some page.......................................................................................................................................16 Common Patterns................................................ It was painfully tedious................130 20............ I lost the original Open Office files for “Impatient Perl”.......... The January 2010 version attempts to remove all the hard-coded returns in the paragraph text and allow the word processor to determine where to wrap the text...129 20............................130 20............12 Modifiers For m{} Operator.........................................................17 Regexp::Common..................................................................................................................................................... I fixed a couple of typos and tweaked a sentence or two................ While I was working on that rev...............................130 20...................132 22 Perl....................11............11.....130 20.........130 20............. but it's really four lines with hard-coded “\n” at the end of each line.............11 Modifiers............... To recover.......................2 The m And s Modifiers.................................................. and then manually reformat the document to resemble its original layout.. I had to take the PDF..20.......................................................................................... One of the problems with that version is that the text had hard-returns coded into it from the cut/paste................................................................................14 Modifiers for tr{}{} Operator..................................... GUI....127 20............................................... copy and paste the text........... and Tk.....11....................

###filename:MyFile. each file will be labeled. 1. If the code section covers multiple files. Code sections are indented. so he invented Perl. Perl 6 is on the drawing board as a fundamental rewrite of the language.1 The Impatient Introduction to Perl This document is for people who either want to learn perl or are already programming in perl and just do not have the patience to scrounge for information to learn and use perl.2 Basic Formatting for this Document This document is formatted into text sections. Version 1 was released circa 1987. This document should also find use as a handy desk reference for some of the more common perl related questions.1 The history of perl in 100 words or less In the mid 1980s.pl The first line of myscript.pl This code will be placed in a file called myscript. Larry Wall was working as a sys-admin and found that he needed to do a number of common.8. This is a code section. and shell sections. and is executed via a shell command. It is not available yet.pl will be the line with #!/usr/local/env perl 7 . Generally. and probably will not be available for some time. They also use a monospaced font. 1. Text sections contain descriptive text. The current version of Perl has exceeded 5. A few changes have occurred between then and now.pm #!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:myscript. code sections. This sentence is part of a text section. the code is contained in one file.pm This code will be placed in a file called MyFile.3 and is a highly recommended upgrade. Text sections will extend to the far left margin and will use a non-monospaced font. which represents code to type into a script. yet oddball functions over and over again. And he did not like any of the scripting languages that were around at the time. You will need to use a TEXT EDITOR. not a WORD PROCESSOR to create these files.

3. If you have an older version or if you have no perl installed at all. so they are they only things shown. get your sys-admin to install perl for you. The command to execute the script is not important either. In simple examples. the code is important. In this example. 1. 8 . shell sections also show the output of a script.8. Even if you are not a beginner. get your sys-admin to install perl for you. immediately followed by the output from running the script. as well as a TON of perl modules for your use. It can be typed into a file of any name.> > > > > > > > > > > > > shell sections are indented like code sections shell sections also use monospaced fonts. if any exists. The CPAN site contains the latest perl for download and installation. shell sections differ from code sections in that shell sections start with a '>' character which represents a shell prompt. the code for a simple "Hello World" script is shown here.cpan. As an example. you can download it for free from http://www. print "Hello World\n". and the output is important.3 Do You Have Perl Installed To find out if you have perl installed and its version: > perl -v You should have at least version 5. the code is shown in a code section. The name of the file is not important. > Hello World THIS DOCUMENT REFERS TO (LI/U)NIX PERL ONLY. but the exact translation will be left as an exercise to the reader. shell sections show commands to type on the command line. If you are a beginner. Much of this will translate to Mac Perl and Windows Perl. The command to run the script is dropped to save space.org CPAN is an acronym for Comprehensive Perl Archive Network.

pl Hello World If ". > hello.pl using your favorite text editor. 9 . you will have to run the script by typing: > . #!/usr/bin/env perl use warnings. You can save yourself a little typing if you make the file executable: > chmod +x hello." is not in your PATH variable. Anything from a # character to the end of the line is a comment. Type in the following: #!/usr/bin/env perl use warnings. use strict.pl And then run the script directly.5 Default Script Header All the code examples in this document are assumed to have the following script header. It uses your PATH environment variable to determine which perl executable to run.pl HOORAY! Now go update your resume. # comment print "Hello World \n".pl extension is simply a standard accepted extension for perl scripts./hello.) Run the script: > perl hello.4 Your First Perl Script. unless otherwise stated. (The #! on the first line is sometimes pronounced "shebang") (The . EVER Create a file called hello. If you need to have different versions of perl installed on your system. use Data::Dumper. 1. you can control which version of perl they will run by changing your PATH variable without having to change your script.pl Hello World This calls perl and passes it the name of the script to execute.1. use strict.

To bring oneself to life.e. one where time-torun and memory-usage are issues to be considered). DWIM: Do What I Mean.cpan. the standard mantra for computer inflexibility was this: "I really hate this darn machine. Tom Christiansen.8 Acronyms and Terms Perl: Originally. and Ullman. and Jon Orwant. Well." DWIM-iness is an attempt to embed perl with telepathic powers such that it can understand what you wanted to write in your code even though you forgot to actually type it. The acronyms followed. and each one has a different animal on its cover. The publisher. 1.) AUTOVIVIFY: "auto" meaning "self". The name was invented first.org 1.cpan.perldoc. See http://www. I wish that they would sell it. because that refers to a book called "Compilers" by Aho. Sethi. If you're writing a “real” script (i. It never does what I want.org for more. alright. camel.7 Cheap Reference Material "Programming Perl" by Larry Wall. Generally applies to perl variables that can grant themselves into being without an explicit declaration from the 10 . only use it if you really need it. "vivify" meaning "alive". the execution speed isn't that high of a priority. it is probably an O'Reilly book.org More free documentation on the web: http://www. Now considered an acronym for Practical Extraction and Report Language.Note that Data::Dumper takes some time to load and you wouldn't want to use Data::Dumper on some timing-critical project. unless its the "Dragon Book". but only what I tell it. then don't use Data::Dumper by default.html Mailing Lists on CPAN: http://list. as well as Petty Eclectic Rubbish Lister. O'Reilly. But for learning perl with simple scripts. 1. (They had to write perl in C. It is sometimes referred to as the "Camel Book" by way of the camel drawing on its cover. Once upon a time. "Pearl" shortened to "Perl" to gain status as a 4-letter word.com Still more free documentation on the web: http://learn.6 Free Reference Material You can get quick help from the standard perl installation. DWIM is just a way of saying the language was designed by some really lazy programmers so that you could be even lazier than they were. has printed enough computer books to choke a. Highly recommended book to have handy at all times. so they could not be TOO lazy. The "perl" with a lower case "p" refers to the executable found somewhere near /usr/local/bin/perl CPAN: Comprehensive Perl Archive Network. Well. Note that this is "Perl" with a capital "P".org/cpan-faq. Therefore if you hear reference to some animal book. > > > > perl -h perldoc perldoc -h perldoc perldoc FAQs on CPAN: http://www. well.perl.cpan.

Part of perl's DWIM-ness. it gives a perl newbie just enough rope to hang himself. In Perl a sigil refers to the symbol in front of a variable. Arrays and Hashes use Scalars to build more complex data types. and perl is often awash in variables named "foo" and "bar". "Autovivify" is a verb. Sometimes. If you don't know what that means. $pi = 3. This has nothing to do with perl either. Specifically. This has nothing to do with perl. An acknowledgment that any programming problem has more than one solution. 2 Storage Perl has three basic storage types: Scalars. except that fubar somehow got mangled into foobar. And now. in section 4 11 . and for some reason. Fubar: Another WWII phrase used to indicate that a mission had gone seriously awry or that a piece of equipment was inoperative. This allows a programmer to select the tool that will let him get his job done. Scalars can store Strings. The most basic storage type is a Scalar. Foo Fighters: A phrase used around the time of WWII by radar operators to describe a signal that could not be explained. you deserve to maintain it. An acronym for Fouled Up Beyond All Recognition and similar interpretations. sigil : A symbol. autovivification wins. Perl is smart enough to know which type you are putting into a scalar and handle it. Later became known as a UFO. A "$" is a stylized "S".1 Scalars Scalars are preceded with a dollar sign sigil. If you use a $foo variable in your code. Rather than have perl decide which solution is best. The noun form is "autovivification". $ref_to_name = \$name # # # # # The “my” keyword declares a lexical variable. it will be explained later. especially if the programmer wishes to hide the fact that he did not understand his code well enough to come up with better names. $name = 'John Doe'. don't worry about it. autovivification is not what you meant your code to do. Arrays. when "do what I mean" meets autovivification in perl. $initial = 'g'. 2. except that "foo" is a common variable name used in perl. and Hashes.1415. Numbers (integers and floats). a Haiku: Do What I Mean and Autovivification sometimes unwanted TMTOWTDI: There is More Than One Way To Do It. References. it gives you all the tools and lets you choose. my my my my my $diameter = 42. Sometimes.programmer. and Filehandles.

" and without declaring a variable with a "my". print $greeting. initialize it to zero.$last)=qw( John Doe ). This undef value will stringify to "" or numify to 0. In some situations. my $circumference = $pie * $diameter. Autovivified to undef. $pie doesn't exist.) Autovivify : to bring oneself to life.1. mud You can also create a list of string literals using the qw() function. and assume that is what you meant to do. (Stringification and Numification are covered later. # numified to 0. $name\n".1 String Literals String literals must be in single or double quotes or you will get an error. perl just handles it for you automatically. use strict. There is no reason that warnings and strictness should not be turned on in your scripts. print "first is '$first'\n". print hello. # oops. my $greeting = "hello. 2. However. Error: Unquoted string "hello" may clash with reserved word You can use single quotes or double quotes to set off a string literal: my $name = 'mud'. my ($first.1 Scalar Strings Scalars can store strings. > first is 'John' > last is 'Doe' 12 . therefore $circumference is zero. in certain situations. autovivication is handy. Without use warnings. autovivification can be an unholy monster.1. using a variable causes perl to create one and initialize it to undef. depending how the undefined variable is used. You do not have to declare the length of the string. > hello.1. 2.Without "use strict. print "last is '$last'\n". This is called autovivication. perl will autovivify a new variable called "pie".

chomp($string). print 'hello $name'.1. "bath".1.. warn "string is '$string' \n" > string is 'hello world' .1. 2. My $string = "hello world\n". my $len = length($line). my $name = 'mud'. my $line = '-' x 80.1.1.1.. will not be interpolated properly in double quotes.2 Single quotes versus Double quotes Single quoted strings are a "what you see is what you get" kind of thing.4 concatenation String concatenation uses the period character ".1.1. If there are no newlines. print "hello $name \n". 2." my $fullname = 'mud' . 13 . The return value of chomp is what was chomped (seldom used).1. # $line is eighty hypens 2. > hello mud Note: a double-quoted "\n" is a new-line character.7 substr substr ( STRING_EXPRESSION.1. LENGTH). > hello $name Double quotes means that you get SOME variable interpolation during string evaluation.1. chomp leaves the string alone. The chomp function removes one new line from the end of the string even if there are multiple newlines at the end.2.1. 2. # $len is 80 2.6 length Find out how many characters are in a string with length(). OFFSET. such as a hash lookup.5 repetition Repeat a string with the "x" operator. my $name = 'mud'. Complex variables.3 chomp You may get rid of a newline character at the end of a string by chomp-ing the string.

my ($first. 9. You can quickly get a chunk of LENGTH characters starting at OFFSET from the beginning or end of the string (negative offsets go from the end). my $tab_sep_data = "John\tDoe\tmale\t42". some common regular expression PATTERNS for split are: \t tab-separated data \s+ whitespace-separated data \s*. For example. . 9...1. STRING1.1. You need a string contained in a variable that can be modified. warn "string is '$string'".1.). The /PATTERN/ in split() is a Regular Expression. You can break a string into individual characters by calling split with an empty string pattern "". STRING_EXPRESSION. 'bananas'. > string is 'the rain beyond spain' . substr($string. and mutilate strings using substr(). warn "string is '$string'". tab separated data in a single string can be split into separate strings. The substr function can also be assigned to.$gender.\s* comma-separated data 2. The substr function then returns the chunk. Use join to stitch a list of strings into a single string.1.. Use the split function to break a string expression into components when the components are separated by a common substring pattern..9 join join('SEPARATOR STRING'.. which is complicated enough to get its own chapter. replacing the chunk as well. 'peaches'). 2). warn "chunk is '$chunk'".8 split split(/PATTERN/. > chunk is 'in' . rather than using a constant literal in the example above. my $string = join(" and ".. my $chunk = substr('the rain in spain'.$age) = split(/\t/. 'apples'.Spin.LIMIT).$last. 14 . my $string = 'the rain in spain'. > string is 'apples and bananas and peaches'. fold. 2. $tab_sep_data).. The substr function gives you fast access to get and modify chunks of a string. 2) = 'beyond'. STRING2.. However.

warn "string is '$string'". Enclosing the label in single quotes means that no string interpolation occurs.. Enclosing the label in double quotes means that perl variables in the document will get interpolated as strings. > string is 'apples and bananas and peaches'. followed by the name of the label indicating the end of the here document.1. The '<<' indicates a HERE document. qw(apples bananas peaches)).11 Multi-Line Strings. My $string = <<”ENDOFDOCUMENT”.10 qw The qw() function takes a list of barewords and quotes them for you.1. Do What I Mean and Autovivification sometimes unwanted ENDOFDOCUMENT warn "string is '$string'”.1. Perl then reads the lines after the '<<' as string literal content until it sees the end of string label positioned at the beginning of a line.1. 15 . HERE Documents Perl allows you to place a multi-line string in your code by using what it calls a "here document”. 2. my $string = join(" and ".. > string is 'Do What I Mean and > Autovivification > sometimes unwanted' at ...2.

# octal $high_address = 0xfa94. # scalar => integer my $temperature = 98. # var2 is 5. # y_int is -5 (-5 is "bigger" than -5.1. and hexadecimal. If you specify something that is obviously an integer.2.1.9.95. my $days_in_week = 7. # Fahrenheit $base_address = 01234567.4). my my my my my $solar_temp_c = 1.9 2.3 abs Use abs to get the absolute value of a number.1.2. Either way. my $dollars = int ($price). my $y_int = int($y_pos). you simply use it as a scalar. it will use an integer. # dollars is 9.0. floating point. # binary 2. Binary numbers begin with "0b" hexadecimal numbers begin with "0x" Octal number begin with a "0" All other numeric literals are assumed to be decimal.5e7. # scalar => float 2.2.9) 16 .6.9).2 Numeric Functions 2. my $var1 = abs(-3. including integer. # centigrade $solar_temp_f = 27_000_000.1. and scientific notation. which means you do NOT get rounding. Truncating means that positive numbers always get smaller and negative numbers always get bigger.2. my $price = 9. Note that this truncates everything after the decimal point.4 my $var2 = abs(5.2.2 Scalar Numbers Perl generally uses floats internally to store numbers. # hexadecimal $low_address = 0b100101.4 int Use "int" to convert a floating point number to an integer.1. octal. as well as decimal. not 10! false advertising! my $y_pos = -5.1 Numeric Literals Perl allows several different formats for numeric literals. # var1 is 3.

# 49 my $five_cubed = 5 ** 3.2. # 0. inverse cosine. # 81 Use fractional powers to take a root of a number: my $square_root_of_49 = 49 ** (1/2).5 trigonometry (sin. $price). # 0. multiply it by (pi/180) first. One way to accomplish it is to use sprintf: my $price = 9.If you want to round a float to the nearest integer. #125 my $three_to_the_fourth = 3 ** 4. # . my $seven_squared = 7 ** 2. # 45 deg $radians = $angle * ( 3. you will need to write a bit of code. # 11.707 Correct! $sine_deg = sin($angle).2.1.0f". my $dollars = sprintf("%. Use the Math::Complex module on CPAN.2. 2.6 exponentiation Use the "**" operator to raise a number to some power.851 OOPS! If you need inverse sine. # 3 Standard perl cannot handle imaginary numbers.1.14 / 180 ). If you have a value in DEGREES.cos) The sin() and cos() functions return the sine and cosine of a value given in RADIANS. or tangent then use the Math::Trig module on CPAN. # 7 my $cube_root_of_125 = 125 ** (1/3).95.1.785 rad $sine_rad = sin($radians). # dollars is 10 2. # 5 my $fourth_root_of_81 = 81 ** (1/4). my my my my $angle = 45. 2.0905 17 . my $square_root_of_123 = sqrt(123).7 sqrt Use sqrt to take the square root of a positive number.

18 .1 Note that inverse natural logs can be done with exponentiation. because perl will call srand at startup. 2.1. # 2. my $inv_exp = log($big_num). my $value_of_e = exp(1). you should not need to call it at all. srand) The rand function is a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG). # inv_exp = 42 If you want another base. rand returns a number that satisfies ( 0 <= return <= input ) If no value is passed in.log) The exp function returns e to the power of the value given. # inv_exp = 2. If a value is passed in.e. srand will seed the PRNG with something from the system that will give it decent randomness.004.} # want the log base 10 of 12345 # i. rand returns a number in the range ( 0 <= return < 1 ) The srand function will seed the PRNG with the value passed in.7e18 The log function returns the inverse exp() function.7183 ** 42 = 1. You can pass in a fixed value to guarantee the values returned by rand will always follow the same sequence (and therefore are predictable). call exp(1). # 2.1. You should only need to seed the PRNG once. which is to say.8 natural logarithms(exp. To get e. then use this subroutine: sub log_x_base_b {return log($_[0])/log($_[1]). to what power do we need to raise the # number 10 to get the value of 12345? my $answer = log_x_base_b(12345. If you have a version of perl greater than or equal to 5.7e18) = 42 my $inv_exp = $value_of_e ** (1/$big_num).718281828).7183 ** 42 = 1. 1/value) with exponentiation.2. log returns the number to which you would have to raise e to get the value passed in.7183 my $big_num= exp(42).7e18 my $big_num = $value_of_e ** 42. # answer = 4.2.9 random numbers (rand. you just need to know the value of the magic number e (~ 2. Natural logarithms simply use the inverse of the value (i.7183 ** (1/1.e. If no value is passed in.2. The exp function is straightforward exponentiation: # big_num = 2.10).

> str is '003.3' . For example: my $pi = 3. There are two basic conversions that can occur: stringification and numification.1.2. my $mass = 7.. simply concatenate a null string onto the end of the value. my $str = sprintf("%06. warn "str is '$str'". Perl will automatically convert a number (integer or floating point) to a string format before printing it out.3. 2. my $volume = 4.$pi).3' 2. sprintf ( FORMAT_STRING.= ''. 19 .14' .3.3.. use sprintf..3 my $string_mass = $mass . > mass is '7.1. my $mass = 7..3 Converting Between Strings and Numbers Many languages require the programmer to explicitly convert numbers to strings before printing them out and to convert strings to numbers before performing arithmetic on them.1. Perl will attempt to apply Do What I Mean to your code and just Do The Right Thing. > volume is '4' .2f".1.1 sprintf Use sprintf to control exactly how perl will convert a number into string format.3. # 7. If you do not want the default format. warn "mass is '$mass'\n". the code did not have to explicitly convert these numbers to string format before printing them out. Perl will attempt to convert the numbers into the appropriate string representation. warn "volume is '$volume'\n".. Perl is not one of these languages..1415. # '7. Even though $mass is stored internally as a floating point number and $volume is stored internally as an integer. If you want to force stringification. LIST_OF_VALUES ).1 Stringify Stringify: Converting something other than a string to a string form.

binary. octal.2 => put two places after the decimal point f => floating point notation To convert a number to a hexadecimal. then use oct() or hex() 20 . possibly decimal integer "%ld" a Long integer. For example.1.Decoding the above format string: % => format 0 => fill leading spaces with zero 6 => total length. including decimal point .3. or decimal formated string. use the following FORMAT_STRINGS: hexadecimal "%lx" The letter 'l' (L) octal "%lo" indicates the input is binary "%lb" an integer. decimal float "%f" scientific "%e" 2. # '19.95" which must be converted to a float before perl can perform any arithmetic on it. a user might enter the string "19.95'. You can force numification of a value by adding integer zero to it.95' my $price = $user_input+0. Sometimes you have string information that actually represents a number. my $user_input = '19.95 If the string is NOT in base ten format. # 19.2 Numify Numify: Converting something other than a number to a numeric form.

2. binary.2. my $p_oct = sprintf("%08lo".3 Base Conversion Overview Given a decimal number: my $decimal=12. or binary format and convert it to an integer.2. 21 . and it does not require a "0x" prefix. my $num = ($str=~m{^0}) ? oct($str) : $str + 0.1 oct The oct function can take a string that fits the octal. 2.3. If you want to pad the most significant bits with zeroes and you know the width. $decimal). call oct on it. if the string starts with zero. $decimal). hexadecimal. my $oct = sprintf("%lo".1. else assume it's decimal. Then.1. my $bin = sprintf("%lb". binary formatted strings must start with "0b" hexadecimal formatted strings must start with "0x" All other numbers are assumed to be octal strings. use this: # 08 assumes width is 8 characters my $p_hex = sprintf("%08lx".3.2. Note: even though the string might not start with a zero (as required by octal literals). $decimal). This means calling oct() on a decimal number could be a bad thing. To handle a string that could contain octal.3. 2. $decimal). my $p_bin = sprintf("%08lb". hexadecimal. $decimal). This example uses regular expressions and the conditional operator. Convert from decimal to another base using sprintf: my $hex = sprintf("%lx". The hex() function is like oct() except that hex() only handles hex base strings.1.2 hex The hex() function takes a string in hex format and converts it to integer. oct will assume the string is octal. you could assume that octal strings must start with "0". $decimal). OR decimal strings.

use the conditional operator and oct(). If the scalar is defined. the function returns a boolean "false" (""). # bin If you want to know how many bits it would take to store a number. If you use a scalar that is undefined.4 Undefined and Uninitialized Scalars All the examples above initialized the scalars to some known value before using them. convert it to binary using sprintf (don't pad with zeros) and then call length() on it. the function returns a boolean "true" (1) If the scalar is NOT defined. the conversion still takes place. there is no string or numeric operation that will tell you if the scalar is undefined or not. perl will stringify or numify it based on how you are using the variable. Since perl automatically performs this conversion no matter what. warn length(sprintf("%lb". You can declare a variable but not initialize it. # dec convert_to_decimal('032').If you have a string and you want to convert it to decimal. Use the defined() function to test whether a scalar is defined or not.1. 22 . # oct convert_to_decimal('0xff'). An undefined scalar stringifies to an empty string: "" An undefined scalar numifies to zero: 0 Without warnings or strict turned on. this conversion is silent. # 8 2. sub convert_to_decimal { ($_[0]=~m{^0}) ? Oct($_[0]) : $_[0] + 0. but a warning is emitted. # hex convert_to_decimal('0b1001011'). 255)). } warn warn warn warn convert_to_decimal('42'). in which case. With warnings/strict on. the variable is undefined.

To explicitly return FALSE in a subroutine. This will be exactly as if you declared the variable with no initial value. perl interprets scalar strings and numbers as "true" or "false" based on some rules: 1)Strings "" and "0" are FALSE.} else {print "undefined\n". # undef print "test 1 :".} else {print "undefined\n".} $var = 42. A subroutine returns a scalar or a list depending on the context in which it is called. # defined print "test 2 :". # undef as if never initialized print "test 3 :". use this: return wantarray() ? () : 0. and then treated as a string or number by the above rules. Instead. if(defined($var)) {print "defined\n". if(defined($var)) {print "defined\n". #FALSE 23 . The scalar context of an ARRAY is its size.} else {print "undefined\n".If you have a scalar with a defined value in it. any other string or stringification is TRUE 2) Number 0 is FALSE.1. any other number is TRUE 3) all references are TRUE 4) undef is FALSE Note that these are SCALARS. and you want to return it to its uninitialized state. assign undef to it. An array with one undef value has a scalar() value of 1 and is therefore evaluated as TRUE. if(defined($var)) {print "defined\n".} > test 1 :undefined > test 2 :defined > test 3 :undefined 2.} $var = undef. # FALSE This is sufficiently troublesome to type for such a common thing that an empty return statement within a subroutine will do the same thing: return. Any variable that is not a SCALAR is first evaluated in scalar context.5 Booleans Perl does not have a boolean "type" per se. my $var.

Note that the string '0. Built in Perl functions that return a boolean will return an integer one (1) for TRUE and an empty string ("") for FALSE. even though you might not have expected them to be false.0 and get some seriously hard to find bugs.0' # true string '00' # true string 'false' # true float 3. make sure you explicitly NUMIFY it before testing its BOOLEANNESS. 24 . you may wish to force numification on that variable ($var+0) before it gets boolean tested.1.5.1 FALSE The following scalars are interpreted as FALSE: integer 0 # false float 0. which means the following scalars are considered TRUE.0' is TRUE.0'+0) will get numified to 0.0 # false string '0' # false string '' # false undef # false 2. which is FALSE. If you are processing a number as a string and want to evaluate it as a BOOLEAN.2. but ('0. just in case you end up with a string "0.5.1. string '0.2 TRUE ALL other values are interpreted as TRUE.0" instead of a float 0.1415 # true integer 11 # true string 'yowser' # true If you are doing a lot of work with numbers on a variable.

specifically an integer 1 for true and a null string "" for false. Distinct comparison operators exist for comparing strings and for comparing numbers. it will fail miserably and SILENTLY. perl will attempt to numify the strings and then compare them numerically.3 Comparators Comparison operators return booleans. The numeric comparison operator '<=>' is sometimes called the "spaceship operator". then you will get the wrong result when you compare the strings ("9" lt "100"). Comparing "John" <= "Jacob" will cause perl to convert "John" into a number and fail miserably.1. Perl will stringify the numbers and then perform the compare. eq=0. equal to.5. 0. Function String Numeric Function String Numeric equal to eq == not equal to ne != less than lt < greater than gt > less than or equal to le <= greater than or equal to ge >= comparison (lt=-1. Number 9 is less than (<=) number 100. String "9" is greater than (gt) string "100". gt=+1) cmp <=> equal to Note that if you use a string operator to compare two numbers. or greater than. assigning the numification of "John" to integer zero. And if you wanted the numbers compared numerically but used string comparison. if warnings/strict is not on. or +1. you will get their alphabetical string comparison. indicating the compared values are less than. This will occur silently. However. If you use a numeric operator to compare two strings.2. 25 . perl will emit no warning. The "Comparison" operator ("<=>" and "cmp") return a -1.

and 'xor' operators. so it is useful to learn how precedence affects their behavior. function operator usage return value AND and $one and $two if ($one is false) $one else $two OR or $one or $two if ($one is true) $one else $two NOT not not $one if ($one is false) true else false XOR xor $one xor $two if ( ($one true and $two false) or ($one false and $two true) ) then return true else false Both sets of operators are very common in perl code. NOT functions. and '!' operators. 'not'. 26 . But first.4 Logical Operators Perl has two sets of operators to perform logical AND. The difference between the two is that one set has a higher precedence than the other set.2. function operator usage return value AND && $one && $two if ($one is false) $one else $two OR || $one || $two if ($one is true) $one else $two NOT ! ! $one if ($one is false) true else false The lower precedence logical operators are the 'and'. some examples of how to use them. '||'.1. OR. The higher precedence logical operators are the '&&'.5. 'or'.

sub mysub { my( $left. $right )=@_. use '||' and '&&'. the undefined parameters will instead receive their default values. This: $left ||= 1.2 Flow Control The open() function here will attempt to open $filename for reading and attach $filehandle to it. and we used the one with the precedence we needed. # default is 1 27 . followed by any remaining 'and' and 'or' operators. because they have a higher precedence than (and are evaluated before) the assignment '='.0 and 2.1. It won't complete because execution will die.2.0).4 Assignment Precedence When working with an assignment. # deal with $left and $right here.0.1. and FALSE OR'ed with die () means that perl will evaluate the die() function to finish the logical evaluation.3 Precedence The reason we used '||' in the first example and 'or' in the second example is because the operators have different precedence.0.4.4. meaning the assignment would occur first. $filename) or die "cant open". The 'or' and 'and' operators have a precedence that is LOWER than an assignment.4.5. but the end result is code that is actually quite readable.5.0. 2. Right: my $default = 0 || 1.5. $right ||= 2. } The '||=' operator is a fancy shorthand.1. it returns FALSE. is exactly the same as this: $left = $left || 1.1 Default Values This subroutine has two input parameters ($left and $right) with default values (1. If the user calls the subroutine with missing arguments. open (my $filehandle.0.5. If open() fails in any way. $left ||= 1.4.1. 2. 2.

and close $fh. use 'or' and 'and' operators. so people sometimes call it the trinary or ternary operator when they mean conditional operator. but it is probably better to get in the habit of using the right operator for the right job.4. and the program continues on its merry way.1.5. As it happens. The second (wrong) example is equivalent to this: close ($fh || die "Error"). As long as perl doesn't add another trinary operator. the return value is discarded. The conditional operator has this form: my $RESULT = $BOOLEAN1 ? $VALUE1 : $VALUE2. 2. It is even more rarely called the ?: operator. Right: close $fh or die "Error:could not close". 2. The '||' and '&&' have higher precedence than functions and may execute before the first function call. 28 . because they have lower precedence than functions and other statements that form the boolean inputs to the 'or' or 'and' operator.5. which will ALWAYS assign $default to the first value and discard the second value.1.4. its not a problem. The conditional operator uses three operands. If close() fails. # default is 0 The second (wrong) example is equivalent to this: (my $default = 0) or 1. NEVER die. which will ALWAYS evaluate $fh as true. Wrong: close $fh || die "Error: could not close". the conditional operator is perl's ONLY trinary operator. It is always possible to override precedence with parentheses.6 Conditional Operator The conditional operator mimics the conditional testing of an if-else block.Wrong: my $default = 0 or 1.5 Flow Control Precedence When using logical operators to perform flow control. and is also called a trinary operator.

which says "the data I want is at this address". Unlike C. Note that $BOOLEAN1. $VALUE1 and $VALUE2 can be replaced by any normal perl expression. You can only create a reference to a variable that is visible from your current scope.This can be rewritten as an if-else block like this: my $RESULT.1. Create a reference by placing a "\" in front of the variable: my my my my $name = 'John'. One interesting expression that you could replace $VALUE2 with is another conditional operator. It is kind of like a pointer in C. if($BOOLEAN1) { $RESULT = $VALUE1 } else { $RESULT = $VALUE2 } The conditional operator allows you to declare the variable and perform the assignment all in one short line of code.6 References A reference points to the variable to which it refers. $name_ref = \$name. 29 . rather than being limited to a simple scalar value. you cannot manually alter the address of a perl reference. $VALUE1 $VALUE2 $VALUE3 $VALUE4 The above example is equivalent to this mouthful: my $RESULT. For example: my $RESULT = $BOOLEAN1 ? : $BOOLEAN2 ? : $BOOLEAN3 ? : $BOOLEAN4 ? : $VALUE5. effectively allowing you to create a chain of if-elsifelsif-else statements. $age_ref = \$age. if($BOOLEAN1) elsif($BOOLEAN2) elsif($BOOLEAN3) elsif($BOOLEAN4) eles { $RESULT = { $RESULT { $RESULT { $RESULT { $RESULT $VALUE5 } = = = = $VALUE1 $VALUE2 $VALUE3 $VALUE4 } } } } 2. $age = 42.

E.Perl will stringify a reference so that you can print it and see what it is.. Perl is pretty loosy goosey about what it will let you do. 30 . This tells you that $age_ref is a reference to a SCALAR (which we know is called $age). you cannot give perl a string. I.. warn "age_ref is '$age_ref'". > age_ref is 'SCALAR(0x812e6ec)' . but not even perl is so crazy as to give people complete access to the system memory. You cannot referencify a string. such as "SCALAR (0x83938949)" and have perl give you a reference to whatever is at that address. It also tells you the address of the variable to which we are referring is 0x812e6ec.

but that is a quick intro to scalar filehandles. warn $deref_name. Data::Dumper will take a reference to ANYTHING and print out the thing to which it refers in a human readable form. But I introduce them here so that I can introduce a really cool module that uses references: Data::Dumper. Given a scalar that is undefined (uninitialized). > John .1. But this will be absolutely essential when working with Arrays and Hashes. References are interesting enough that they get their own section. This does not seem very impressive with a reference to a scalar: my $name = 'John'. open(my $fh. The scalar $fh in the example above holds the filehandle to "out. my $ref_to_name = \$name. '>out. print $fh "this is simple file writing\n". warn Dumper \$ref_to_name. and store the handle to that file in the scalar. File IO gets its own section. 2.txt".You can dereference a reference by putting an extra sigil (of the appropriate type) in front of the reference variable. my $name = 'John'. calling open() on that scalar and a string filename will tell perl to open the file specified by the string. but I introduce it here to give a complete picture of what scalars can hold. close($fh). print $fh "hello world\n". > $VAR1 = \'John'.txt'). my $ref_to_name = \$name... my $deref_name = $$ref_to_name. There is some magic going on there that I have not explained. 31 . Printing to the filehandle actually outputs the string to the file.7 Filehandles Scalars can store a filehandle.

32 . Perl arrays are ONE-DIMENSIONAL ONLY. When you index into the array.2. > two . REFERENCES.. NUMBERS (floats and ints).. and FILEHANDLES. my @numbers = qw ( zero one two three ). Stringify: to convert something to a string format Numify: to convert something to a numeric format The following scalars are interpreted as boolean FALSE: integer 0. 2. string "". The "@" is a stylized "a". (Do Not Panic. float 0.1. my $string = $numbers[2]. use the "@" sigil.0.) The first element of an array always starts at ZERO (0). my @numbers = qw ( zero one two three ). warn $string.2 Arrays Arrays are preceded with an "at" sigil. When you refer to an entire array. string "0". the "@" character changes to a "$" and the numeric index is placed in square brackets.8 Scalar Review Scalars can store STRINGS. An array stores a bunch of scalars that are accessed via an integer index. undef All other scalar values are interpreted as boolean TRUE.

$mem_hog[10000000000000000000000]=1.1.. > 4 . Negative indexes start from the end of the array and work backwards. 33 . # undef > ${\$VAR1->[0]}. my @colors = qw ( red green blue ). > $VAR1 = [ > undef. > last is 'blue' . my $quantity = scalar(@phonetic). try running this piece of code: my @mem_hog.The length of an array is not pre-declared. 3.4] are autovivified # and initialized to undef print Dumper \@months. 'daba' ). warn $quantity. my $last=$colors[-1]. # $months[1] > ${\$VAR1->[0]}.1. $months[5]='May'.14. 9*11. which is initialized to 1 Arrays can store ANYTHING that can be stored in a scalar my @junk_drawer = ( 'pliers'. 'yaba'.2. '//'.1 scalar (@array) To get how many elements are in the array... my @months. Perl autovivifies whatever space it needs. 2. If you want to see if you can blow your memory. # undef > 'May' # $months[5] > ]. # index 0 is undefined > 'January'.. # $months[0] and $months[2. '*'. 1. # the array is filled with undefs # except the last entry. # this is same as undef > ${\$VAR1->[0]}. $months[1]='January'. use "scalar" my @phonetic = qw ( alpha bravo charlie delta ).. warn "last is '$last'".

my $last_name = pop(@names). 'eggs'. 34 . > > > > > > > $VAR1 = [ 'milk'. my @groceries = qw ( milk bread ). 'bacon'. 2. my @phonetic = qw ( alpha bravo charlie ). push(@groceries. warn "popped = $last_name". my @names = qw ( alice bob charlie ). print Dumper \@names.2.. my $quant = @phonetic. This is explained later in the "list context" section.. This will shorten the array by one.2 push(@array. warn $quant..3 pop(@array) Use pop() to get the last element off of the end of the array (the highest index). LIST) Use push() to add elements onto the end of the array (the highest index). you will get the same thing.2. print Dumper \@groceries. $VAR1 = [ 'alice'.When you assign an entire array into a scalar variable. The return value of pop() is the value popped off of the array. 'bob' ]. > 3 . 'cheese' ]. 'bread'. This will increase the length of the array by the number of items added. 2. qw ( eggs bacon cheese )). > > > > > popped = charlie . but calling scalar() is much more clear..

unshift(@trees.e. # old index 0. now 1 'maple'. my $start = shift(@curses).e. warn Dumper \@curses. 'fum' ]. 2. All the other elements in the array will be shifted up to make room. warn $start.4 shift(@array) Use shift() to remove one element from the beginning/bottom of an array (i. # 2 'oak' # 3 ].5 unshift( @array. 'birch'). This will length the array by the number of elements in LIST. at index ZERO). # index 0 'pine'. 35 . The return value is the value removed from the array. my @curses = qw ( fee fie foe fum ). my @trees = qw ( pine maple oak ). at index zero). All elements will be shifted DOWN one index. > > > > > > fee $VAR1 = [ 'fie'. The array will be shorted by one. LIST) use unshift() to add elements to the BEGINNING/BOTTOM of an array (i. warn Dumper \@trees. > > > > > > $VAR1 = [ 'birch'.2.2.2. 'foe'.

which is still part of array. my @numbers = qw (zero one two three). Its formal definition is: LABEL foreach VAR (LIST) BLOCK This is a control flow structure that is covered in more detail in the "control flow" section. Use a simple foreach loop to do something to each element in an array: my @fruits = qw ( apples oranges lemons pears ). } > > > > fruit fruit fruit fruit is is is is 'apples' 'oranges' 'lemons' 'pears' DO NOT ADD OR DELETE ELEMENTS TO AN ARRAY BEING PROCESSED IN A FOREACH LOOP. but I failed to print out 'two'.2. and redo statements. BAD!! 36 . next. foreach my $fruit (@fruits) { print "fruit is '$fruit'\n".6 foreach (@array) Use foreach to iterate through all the elements of a list. print "num is '$num'\n". } > > > # # # num is 'zero' num is 'one' num is 'three' note: I deleted 'zero'. The foreach structure supports last. foreach my $num (@numbers) { shift(@numbers) if($num eq 'one').2.

Changes to VAR propagate to changing the array. my @integers = ( 23. my @fruit = qw ( pears apples bananas oranges ). 27. The array passed in is left untouched. The return value is the sorted version of the array. 150 ). # 1's 150. 142. >$VAR1 = [ > 'apples'. # 1's 13. my @sorted_array = sort(@fruit). 9484. > > > > > > > > $VAR1 = [ 1000. my @scores = ( 1000. 83948 ). 37 . } print Dumper \@integers. 200. which probably is not what you want. > > > > > > $VAR1 = [ 123. > 'bananas'. > 'oranges'. # 1's 200. 13. 76 ]. 27. print Dumper \@sorted_array .2. 84048 ]. print Dumper \@sorted_array . Sorting a list of numbers will sort them alphabetically as well. 76. 9384. foreach my $num (@integers) { $num+=100. > 'pears' > ]. 242. my @sorted_array = sort(@scores).VAR acts as an alias to the element of the array itself.7 sort(@array) Use sort() to sort an array alphabetically. 2.

13.76. 76.200. 76. 13. The code block uses two global variables. 150 ). > 1000 > ]. > > > > > > > > $VAR1 = [ 13. The first element becomes the last element. and defines how to compare the two entries. my @numbers = reverse (1000. > 76. 200. 2. 150. print Dumper \@numbers .8 reverse(@array) The reverse() function takes a list and returns an array in reverse order.The sort() function can also take a code block ( any piece of code between curly braces ) which defines how to perform the sort if given any two elements from the array. print Dumper \@sorted_array . The last element becomes the first element. > 200. 27.2. $a and $b. my @scores = ( 1000.150). > $VAR1 = [ > 150. 1000 ]. This is how you would sort an array numerically.27. > 27. > 13. 200. my @sorted_array = sort {$a<=>$b} (@scores). 38 . 27.

(Do Not Panic. integer 0). The "%" is a stylized "key/value" pair. This would fill the array with one element at index zero with a value of undefined. Any elements from LIST will be inserted at OFFSET into ARRAY. Therefore you can test to see if an array is initialized by calling scalar() on it. LENGTH . If scalar() returns false (i. assign an empty list to it. but you should not use a hash with an assumption about what order the data will come out. warn join(" ". The elements in ARRAY starting at OFFSET and going for LENGTH indexes will be removed from ARRAY.2.. and the second item will be treated as the value.) You can assign any even number of scalars to a hash.2. 2. then you do NOT want to assign it undef like you would a scalar. Perl will extract them in pairs. (Well. my @array = undef. then the array is uninitialized. The first item will be treated as the key.9 splice(@array) Use splice() to add or remove elements into or out of any index range of an array. 1. my @array = (). @words). 'out'). > hello out there . 39 . A hash stores a bunch of scalars that are accessed via a string index called a "key" Perl hashes are ONE-DIMENSIONAL ONLY.e.. 0. splice(@words.) There is no order to the elements in a hash. If you want to uninitialize an array that contains data.3 Hashes Hashes are preceded with a percent sign sigil. there is. my @words = qw ( hello there ). splice ( ARRAY . # WRONG To clear an array to its original uninitialized state. This will clear out any entries.10 Undefined and Uninitialized Arrays An array is initialized as having no entries.2. LIST ). This is equivalent to calling defined() on a scalar variable. and leave you with a completely empty array. OFFSET . # RIGHT 2.

> > > > > Use of uninitialized value in concatenation peaches is '' at . use the "%" sigil. $VAR1 = { 'apples' => 42 }./test. When you look up a key in the hash. The keys of a hash are not pre-declared. > 'apples' => 42. 40 . If the key does not exist during an ASSIGNMENT. $inventory{apples}=42. >$VAR1 = { > 'bananas' => 5. my $peaches = $inventory{peaches}.When you refer to an entire hash. my %inventory. my $data = $info{name}. the key is created and given the assigned value. $inventory{pears}=17. $inventory{bananas}=5. $inventory{apples}=42. If the key does not exist during a FETCH. > John . and undef is returned. my %inventory. warn "peaches is '$peaches'". warn $data. print Dumper \%inventory. print Dumper \%inventory. the "%" character changes to a "$" and the key is placed in curly braces.. my %info = qw ( name John age 42 ).pl line 13. my %info = qw ( name John age 42 ). > 'pears' => 17 > }. the key is NOT created..

but this is a "feature" specific to exists() that can lead to very subtle bugs. Note in the following example. This only happens if you have a hash of hash references. References are covered later. since a key might exist but store a value of FALSE my %pets = ( cats=>2. but we only test for the existence of {Maine}>{StateBird}. 'Florida' => { 'Abbreviation' => 'FL' }. and build your way up to the final key lookup if you do not want to autovivify the lower level keys. } print Dumper \%stateinfo.2. all the lower level keys are autovivified. $stateinfo{Florida}->{Abbreviation}='FL'. we explicitly create the key "Florida".3. unless(exists($pets{fish})) { print "No fish here\n". You cannot simply test the value of a key. } Warning: during multi-key lookup. and only the last key has exists() tested on it. $stateinfo{Florida}->{Abbreviation}='FL'. dogs=>1 ). 'Maine' => {} You must test each level of key individually. > $VAR1 = { > 'Florida' => > > > }. if (exists($stateinfo{Maine}->{StateBird})) { warn "it exists". if (exists($stateinfo{Maine})) { if (exists($stateinfo{Maine}->{StateBird})) { warn "it exists".1 exists ( $hash{$key} ) Use exists() to see if a key exists in a hash. { 'Abbreviation' => 'FL' } 41 . which has the side effect of creating the key {Maine} in the hash. my %stateinfo. my %stateinfo. } } print Dumper \%stateinfo. > $VAR1 = { > > > > > }.

2 delete ( $hash{key} ) Use delete to delete a key/value pair from a hash.2. Note in the example below that the order of assignment is different from the order printed out. cats=>2. 'cats' => undef. assigning undef to it will keep the key in the hash and will only assign the value to undef. then you may wish to use the each() function described below. 'dogs' => 1 2. 42 . print Dumper \%pets. my %pets = ( fish=>3.3. delete($pets{fish}). The only way to remove a key/value pair from a hash is with delete(). dogs=>1. $pets{cats}=undef. ). and should not be something your program depends upon. cats=>2. Once a key is created in a hash.3 keys( %hash ) Use keys() to return a list of all the keys in a hash. > $VAR1 = { > > > }. my %pets = ( fish=>3. dogs=>1. } > pet is 'cats' > pet is 'dogs' > pet is 'fish' If the hash is very large. The order of the keys will be based on the internal hashing algorithm used.3. foreach my $pet (keys(%pets)) { print "pet is '$pet'\n". ).

'dogs'. cats=>2. my %pets = ( fish=>3. dogs=>1. cats=>2.5 each( %hash ) Use each() to iterate through each key/value pair in a hash. qty='1' > pet='fish'. > $VAR1 = [ > > > > ]. } > pet='cats'. 'fish' 2. 1. my %pets = ( fish=>3. dogs=>1. qty='3' 43 .$qty)=each(%pets)) { print "pet='$pet'. my @pet_keys = keys(%pets). > $VAR1 = [ > > > > ].3.3. qty='2' > pet='dogs'. 2.2. then you may wish to use the each() function described below. print Dumper \@pet_keys. 3 If the hash is very large. ). qty='$qty'\n". print Dumper \@pet_vals.4 values( %hash ) Use values() to return a list of all the values in a hash. 'cats'. The order of the values will match the order of the keys return in keys(). ). while(my($pet. one at a time. my @pet_vals = values(%pets).

cats=>2. This is how the while loop is able to loop through each key/value and then exit when done. You can delete keys while iterating a hash with each(). The list returned by keys() can be discarded. Calling keys() on the hash will reset the iterator. keys(%hash). qty='$qty'\n". # end of hash one_time. } else { print "end of hash\n". The each() function does not have to be used inside a while loop. sub one_time { my($pet. This example uses a subroutine to call each() once and print out the result. Every hash has one "each iterator" attached to it. my %pets = ( fish=>3. The subroutine is called multiple times without using a while() loop. which is boolean false. After the last key/value pair is returned. # dogs one_time. Do not add keys while iterating a hash with each(). This iterator is used by perl to remember where it is in the hash for the next call to each(). dogs=>1. # cats one_time. # dogs keys(%pets).Every call to each() returns the next key/value pair in the hash. # cats one_time. the next call to each() will return an empty list. # reset the hash iterator one_time. } } one_time. # dogs 44 .$qty)=each(%pets). # cats one_time. # then each() must have hit end of hash if(defined($pet)) { print "pet='$pet'. # fish one_time. ). # if key is not defined.

. which means calling each() on a hash in a loop that then calls each() on the same hash another loop will cause problems. and the process repeats itself indefinitely. pet='cats'. dogs=>1."than $cmp_pet\n". while(my($orig_pet. pet='dogs'. are are are are are are are are more less more less more less more less cats cats cats cats cats cats cats cats than than than than than than than than dogs fish dogs fish dogs fish dogs fish The outside loop calls each() and gets "cats". The inside loop continues. 45 . end of hash pet='cats'. calls each() again. The inside loop exits. The inside loop calls each() one more time and gets an empty list. pet='dogs'. and returns "cats". and gets "fish". The outside loop calls each() which continues where the inside loop left off. qty='2' qty='1' qty='2' qty='1' qty='3' qty='2' qty='1' There is only one iterator variable connected with each hash. pet='dogs'. The code then enters the inside loop.> > > > > > > > pet='cats'. cats=>2. } else { print "there are less $orig_pet " . The inside loop calls each() and gets "dogs".. namely at the end of the list. } } } > > > > > > > > > there there there there there there there there . ). pet='fish'. The example below goes through the %pets hash and attempts to compare the quantity of different pets and print out their comparison.$cmp_qty)=each(%pets)) { if($orig_qty>$cmp_qty) { print "there are more $orig_pet " . my %pets = ( fish=>3."than $cmp_pet\n".$orig_qty)=each(%pets)) { while(my($cmp_pet.

dogs=>1.$orig_qty)=each(%pets)) { while(1) { my($cmp_pet. This also fixes a problem in the above example in that we probably do not want to compare a key to itself. if($orig_qty>$cmp_qty) { print "there are more $orig_pet " . last if($cmp_pet eq $orig_pet). } } } > > > > > > there there there there there there are are are are are are more less less less more more cats cats dogs dogs fish fish than than than than than than dogs fish fish cats cats dogs If you do not know the outer loop key. while(my($orig_pet. } else { print "there are less $orig_pet " . either because its in someone else's code and they do not pass it to you. )."than $cmp_pet\n".$cmp_qty)=each(%pets). The inner loop must skip the end of the hash (an undefined key) and continue the inner loop. store the keys in an array."than $cmp_pet\n". 46 .One solution for this each() limitation is shown below. and loop through the array of keys using foreach. my %pets = ( fish=>3. cats=>2. next unless(defined($cmp_pet)). The inner loop will then not rely on the internal hash iterator value. or some similar problem. then the only other solution is to call keys on the hash for all inner loops. The inner loop continues to call each() until it gets the key that matches the outer loop key.

> $VAR1 = [ > 'milk'. 47 . 'dogs'. We have used list context repeatedly to initialize arrays and hashes and it worked as we would intuitively expect: my %pets = ( fish=>3. my @cart1=qw( milk bread butter). Basically. List context affects how perl executes your source code. pulled up to the @checkout_counter and unloaded their carts without putting one of those separator bars in between them. dogs=>1 ). using the first scalar as a key and the following scalar as its value. Here is an example. butter is the order of scalars in @cart1 and the order of the scalars at the beginning of @checkout_counter. However. looking at just @checkout_counter. In fact. Sometimes. You cannot declare a "list context" in perl the way you might declare an @array or %hash. two people with grocery carts. @cart1 might have been empty. > 'bacon'. my @checkout_counter = ( @cart1. @cart1 and @cart2. my @cart2=qw( eggs bacon juice ). there is no way to know where the contents of @cart1 end and the contents of @cart2 begin. The original container that held the scalars is forgotten. cats=>2. > 'eggs'. 2. In the above example the order of scalars is retained: milk. @cart2 ).2. and so on throughout the list. The initial values for the hash get converted into an ordered list of scalars ( 'fish'. my @cart1 = qw( milk bread eggs). list context can be extremely handy. 3. > 'butter'. > 'juice' > ]. print Dumper \@checkout_counter. but there is no way to know. 'cats'. Everything in list context gets reduced to an ordered series of scalars. bread. 1 ) These scalars are then used in list context to initialize the hash. and all the contents of @checkout_counter could belong to @cart2. The person behind the @checkout_counter has no idea whose groceries are whose.4 List Context List context is a concept built into the grammar of perl. > 'bread'.

List context applies anytime data is passed around in perl. Scalars, arrays, and hashes are all affected by
list context. In the example below, @house is intended to contain a list of all the items in the house.
However, because the %pets hash was reduced to scalars in list context, the values 3,2,1 are
disassociated from their keys. The @house variable is not very useful.
my %pets = ( fish=>3, cats=>2, dogs=>1 );
my @refrigerator=qw(milk bread eggs);
my @house=('couch',%pets,@refrigerator,'chair');
print Dumper \@house;
>$VAR1 = [
>
'couch',
>
'cats',
>
2,
>
'dogs',
>
1,
>
'fish',
>
3,
>
'milk',
>
'bread',
>
'eggs',
>
'chair'
> ];
There are times when list context on a hash does make sense.
my %encrypt=(tank=>'turtle',bomber=>'eagle');
my %decrypt=reverse(%encrypt) ;
print Dumper \%decrypt;
> $VAR1 = {
>
'eagle' => 'bomber',
>
'turtle' => 'tank'
> };
The %encrypt hash contains a hash look up to encrypt plaintext into cyphertext. Anytime you want to
use the word "bomber", you actually send the word "eagle". The decryption is the opposite. Anytime
you receive the word "eagle" you need to translate that to the word "bomber".
Using the %encrypt hash to perform decryption would require a loop that called each() on the %encrypt
hash, looping until it found the value that matched the word received over the radio. This could take too
long.
Instead, because there is no overlap between keys and values, (two different words don't encrypt to the
same word), we can simply treat the %encrypt hash as a list, call the array reverse() function on it,
which flips the list around from end to end, and then store that reversed list into a %decrypt hash.

48

2.5 References
References are a thing that refer (point) to something else.
The "something else" is called the "referent", the thing being pointed to.
Taking a reference and using it to access the referent is called "dereferencing".
A good real-world example is a driver's license. Your license "points" to where you live because it lists
your home address. Your license is a "reference". The "referent" is your home. And if you have
forgotten where you live, you can take your license and "dereferencing" it to get yourself home.
It is possible that you have roommates, which would mean multiple references exist to point to the
same home. But there can only be one home per address.
In perl, references are stored in scalars. You can create a reference by creating some data (scalar, array,
hash) and putting a "\" in front of it.
my %home= (
fish=>3,cats=>2,dogs=>1,
milk=>1,bread=>2,eggs=>12,
);
my $license_for_alice = \%home;
my $license_for_bob = \%home;
Alice and Bob are roommates and their licenses are references to the same %home. This means that
Alice could bring in a bunch of new pets and Bob could eat the bread out of the refrigerator even
though Alice might have been the one to put it there. To do this, Alice and Bob need to dereference
their licenses and get into the original %home hash.
$ {$license_for_alice} {dogs} += 5;
delete($ {$license_for_bob} {milk});
print Dumper \%home;
> $VAR1 = {
>
'eggs' => 12,
>
'cats' => 2,
>
'bread' => 2,
>
'dogs' => 6,
>
'fish' => 3
> };

49

2.5.1 Named Referents
A referent is any original data structure: a scalar, array, or hash. Below, we declare some named
referents: age, colors, and pets.
my $age = 42;
my @colors = qw( red green blue );
my %pets=(fish=>3,cats=>2,dogs=>1);

2.5.2 References to Named Referents
A reference points to the referent. To take a reference to a named referent, put a "\" in front of the
named referent.
my $ref_to_age = \$age;
my $r_2_colors = \@colors;
my $r_pets = \%pets;

2.5.3 Dereferencing
To dereference, place the reference in curly braces and prefix it with the sigil of the appropriate type.
This will give access to the entire original referent.
${$ref_to_age}++; # happy birthday
pop(@{$r_2_colors});
my %copy_of_pets = %{$r_pets};
print "age is '$age'\n";
> age is '43'
If there is no ambiguity in dereferencing, the curly braces are not needed.
$$ref_to_age ++; # another birthday
print "age is '$age'\n";
> age is '44'

50

$VAR1 = { 'cats' => 2. Take the reference. # 5 new dogs 'fish' => 3 }. print Dumper \@colors. perl has a shorthand notation for indexing into an array or looking up a key in a hash using a reference. my @colors = qw( red green blue ).cats=>2. Each named referent has a reference to it as well. ${$r_colors}[1] = 'yellow'. %pets=(fish=>3. > $VAR1 = [ 'red'. $r_pets = \%pets.dogs=>1). This: ${$r_pets} {dogs} += 5. ${$r_colors}[1] = 'yellow'. An anonymous referent has no name for the underlying data structure and can only be accessed through the reference. Because array and hash referents are so common. 'dogs' => 6.5. follow it by "->".cats=>2. 51 . my $r_colors = \@colors. To create an anonymous array referent.4 Anonymous Referents Here are some referents named age. 2. 'yellow'. colors. It is also possible in perl to create an ANONYMOUS REFERENT. ${$r_pets} {dogs} += 5. $r_colors = \@colors. print Dumper \%pets. @colors = qw( red green blue ). my $r_pets = \%pets. $r_age = \$age. and pets. $r_colors->[1] = 'yellow'. is exactly the same as this: $r_pets->{dogs} += 5. my my my my my my $age = 42. and then follow that by either "[index]" or "{key}". put the contents of the array in square brackets.It is also possible to dereference into an array or hash with a specific index or key. # green turned to yellow 'blue' ].dogs=>1). my %pets=(fish=>3.

$pets_ref is a reference to a hash. but that hash has no name to directly access its data. You must use $colors_ref to access the data in the array. The curly braces will create the underlying hash with no name. print Dumper $colors_ref.cats=>2. > 'fish' => 3 > }. put the contents of the hash in curly braces. > $VAR1 = { > 'cats' => 2. Note that $colors_ref is a reference to an array.dogs=>1 }. > $VAR1 = [ > 'red'. but that array has no name to directly access its data. > 'green'. and return a reference to that unnamed array. Likewise. 'green'. > 'blue' > ]. 'blue' ]. print Dumper $pets_ref. > 'dogs' => 1. To create an anonymous hash referent. You must use $pets_ref to access the data in the hash. my $pets_ref = { fish=>3. 52 . and return a reference to that unnamed hash. my $colors_ref = [ 'red'.The square brackets will create the underlying array with no name.

5. refrigerator=>\@refrigerator }. which contains two keys. print Dumper $house. But because scalars can hold references. > 'bread'. The $house variable is a reference to an anonymous hash. Here is another look at the house example. > 'fish' => 3 > }. dogs=>1 ). > 'eggs' > ] > }. my @refrigerator=qw(milk bread eggs). my %pets = ( fish=>3. # Bob drank all the milk shift(@{$house->{refrigerator}}).5 Complex Data Structures Arrays and hashes can only store scalar values. cats=>2. These keys are associated with values that are references as well. my $house={ pets=>\%pets. # Alice added more canines $house->{pets}->{dogs}+=5. 53 . > 'refrigerator' => [ > 'milk'. Dereferencing a complex data structure can be done with the arrow notation or by enclosing the reference in curly braces and prefixing it with the appropriate sigil. but now using references. "pets" and "refrigerator". Using references is one way to avoid the problems associated with list context. > $VAR1 = { > 'pets' => { > 'cats' => 2. one a hash reference and the other an array reference.2. > 'dogs' => 1. complex data structures are now possible.

> { > 'somekey' => [ > ${\$VAR1->[0]}. In the example below. If this is NOT what you want to do. Perl autovivifies everything under the assumption that that is what you wanted to do. > ${\$VAR1->[0]}. Perl will assume you know what you are doing with your structures. 54 . check for the existence of each hash key and check that the array contains at least enough array entries to handle the given index. my $val = $scal->[2]->{somekey}->[1]->{otherkey}->[1]. my $scal. The autovivified referents are anonymous.5. we start out with an undefined scalar called $scal.5. > { > 'otherkey' => [] > } > ] > } > ]. as if it were a reference to an array of a hash of an array of a hash of an array. We then fetch from this undefined scalar.2. print Dumper $scal. > $VAR1 = [ > undef.1 Autovivification Perl autovivifies any structure needed when assigning or fetching from a reference.

> 'row=0.5.$j<2. col=0. > [ > [ > 'row=1. col=1.5. depth=$k". > [ > 'row=1. depth=0'. 55 . > 'row=1. > [ > 'row=0. depth=1' > ]. depth=0'. col=0. col=1. col=1.2 Multidimensional Arrays Perl implements multidimensional arrays using one-dimensional arrays and references. col=0.$i++){ for(my $j=0. col=$j. depth=1' > ] > ] > ]. depth=1' > ] > ].2.$k<2. depth=0'. col=1. > 'row=1. col=0. for(my $i=0.$i<2. depth=1' > ]. > 'row=0. my $mda. } } } print Dumper $mda. > $VAR1 = [ > [ > [ > 'row=0.$j++) { for(my $k=0.$k++){ $mda->[$i]->[$j]->[$k] = "row=$i. depth=0'.

3 Deep Cloning. my $value = $$reference. 'dclone'. and install.5.5. my $reference = 'SCALAR(0x812e6ec)'. consider an upgrade. Otherwise. If you don't have 5. my $reference = \$referent. > reference is 'SCALAR(0x812e6ec)' . download Storable from CPAN. Then use Storable in your perl code. Storable comes standard with perl 5.pm perl module. 'filename').4 Data Persistence The Storable. warn "reference is '$reference'". The 'dclone' subroutine takes a reference to any kind of data structure and returns a reference to a deep cloned version of that data structure.2. The 'use' statement is explained later in this document as well. use Storable qw(nstore dclone retrieve). # $twin is an identical clone of $scal my $twin = dclone $scal.5. and 'retrieve' subroutines.6 Stringification of References Perl will stringify a reference if you try to do anything string-like with it. my $referent = 42. 2. read the section about CPAN later in this document. use the Storable. > Can't use string ("SCALAR(0x812e6ec)") as > a SCALAR ref while "strict refs" in use 56 ..8 installed. my $scal. use Storable qw(nstore dclone retrieve). $scal->[2]->{somekey}->[1]->{otherkey}->[1]. 2. But perl will not allow you to create a string and attempt to turn it into a reference.8. indicating you want to import the 'nstore'. such as print it.5. and restart script my $revived = retrieve('filename'). nstore ($scal. it isn't that important. Deep Copy If you need to create an entirely separate but identical clone of a complex data structure. reboot computer. for now.pm module also contains two subroutines for storing the contents of any perl data structure to a file and retrieving it later.5. # exit. $scal->[2]->{somekey}->[1]->{otherkey}->[1].. my $scal.

even if the value to which it points is false. print "string is '$string'\n". warn "string is '$string'". 57 . > string is 'SCALAR' Here we call ref() on several types of variable: sub what_is_it { my ($scalar)=@_. Instead of SCALAR(0x812e6ec).3] ). warn "value is '$value'\n". my $temp = \42. my $reference = 'SCALAR(0x812e6ec)'. 2. you get the scalar value. you get an empty string. If the scalar is not a reference. my $string = ref($temp). ref() returns false (an empty string). its just SCALAR. no strict. warn "value not defined" unless(defined($value)). > value not defined > Use of uninitialized value in concatenation Because a reference is always a string that looks something like "SCALAR(0x812e6ec)". my $value = $$reference. Also note that if you stringify a non-reference. But if you call ref() on a nonreference. what_is_it( 42 ).7 The ref() function The ref() function takes a scalar and returns a string indicating what kind of referent the scalar is referencing. which is always false. my $string = ref($scalar). what_is_it( {cats=>2} ). } what_is_it( \'hello' ).5. it will evaluate true when treated as a boolean. what_is_it( [1. > string is 'SCALAR' > string is 'ARRAY' > string is 'HASH' > string is '' Note that this is like stringification of a reference except without the address being part of the string.Turning strict off only gives you undef.2.

Control flow statements allow you to alter the order of execution while the program is running. my $name = 'John Smith'. my $greeting = "Hello. if( $price == 0 ) { print "Free Beer!\n". } 58 .3 Control Flow Standard statements get executed in sequential order in perl. print $greeting. $name\n".

# print "hello\n" ## BLOCK ==> zero or more statements contained # in curly braces { print "hi".. unless (BOOL) BLOCK elsif (BOOL) BLOCK . # example==> MY_NAME: ## SINGLE_STATEMENT ==> a single perl statement # NOT including the semicolon. CONT are all expressions # INIT is an initialization expression # INIT is evaluated once prior to loop entry # TEST is BOOLEAN expression that controls loop exit # TEST is evaluated each time after # BLOCK is executed # CONT is a continuation expression # CONT is evaluated each time TEST is evaluated TRUE LABEL for ( INIT. } LABEL BLOCK LABEL BLOCK continue BLOCK # BOOL ==> boolean (see boolean section above) SINGLE_STATEMENT if (BOOL). else BLOCK LABEL while (BOOL) BLOCK LABEL while (BOOL) BLOCK continue BLOCK LABEL until (BOOL) BLOCK LABEL until (BOOL) BLOCK continue BLOCK # INIT. if (BOOL) BLOCK elsif (BOOL) BLOCK . else BLOCK unless (BOOL) BLOCK unless (BOOL) BLOCK else BLOCK unless (BOOL) BLOCK elsif (BOOL) BLOCK elsif ().Perl supports the following control flow structures: ## LABEL is an optional name that identifies the # control flow structure.... see arrays and # list context sections later in text LABEL foreach (LIST) BLOCK LABEL foreach VAR (LIST) BLOCK LABEL foreach VAR (LIST) BLOCK continue BLOCK 59 . CONT ) BLOCK # LIST is a list of scalars. TEST... if (BOOL) BLOCK if (BOOL) BLOCK else BLOCK if (BOOL) BLOCK elsif (BOOL) BLOCK elsif (). # It is a bareword identifier followed by a colon. TEST...

A label is an identifier followed by a colon.2 last LABEL. Inside a BLOCK of a control flow structure.3. execution resumes there. If no label is given to next. The redo command skips the remaining BLOCK.4 redo LABEL.1 Labels Labels are always optional. 3. 3. A label is used to give its associated control flow structure a name. If the structure has a LABEL. The next command skips the remaining BLOCK. redo. execution starts the next iteration of the control construct if it is a loop construct. then the command will operate on the control structure given. if there is a continue block. last. It does not execute any continue block (even if it exists). or if no continue block exists. After the continue block finishes. then the command will operate on the inner-most control structure. last LABEL.3 next LABEL. Execution then resumes at the start of the control structure without evaluating the conditional again. The last command goes to the end of the entire control structure. last. 3. you can call next. you can call next LABEL. 60 . or redo. It does not execute any continue block if one exists. If a label is given. redo LABEL.

strictness. %package_that::pets. followed by a double colon. @other_package::refrigerator. When you have strict-ness turned on. 61 . eval. or file belongs to the namespace given by NAMESPACE. followed by the package name." etc. warn "The value is '$some_package::answer'\n". you will want to "use" these again. and Data::Dumper are attached to the namespace in which they were turned on with "use warnings.4 Packages and Namespaces and Lexical Scoping 4. If you use an UNQUALIFIED variable in your code. there are two ways to create and use package variables: 1) Use the fully package qualified name everywhere in your code: # can use variable without declaring it with 'my' $some_package::answer=42. followed by the variable name. This is called a package QUALIFIED variable meaning the package name is explicitly stated. package SomeOtherPackage. All perl scripts start with an implied declaration of: package main. The standard warnings. Anytime you declare a new package namespace. use warnings. You can access package variables with the appropriate sigil. use Data::Dumper. $package_this::age. subroutine.1 Package Declaration Perl has a package declaration statement that looks like this: package NAMESPACE. use strict. This package declaration indicates that the rest of the enclosing block. perl assumes it is in the the most recently declared package namespace that was declared.

without ever having to declare the namespace explicitly.. To encourage programmers to play nice with each other's namespaces. the fully package qualified name is NOT required.3 Package Variables inside a Lexical Scope When you declare a package inside a code block. > speak is 'oink' . warn "Hogs::speak is '$Hogs::speak'".. You can even declare variables in someone else's package namespace. The "our" declaration is a shorthand for declaring a package variable. the "our" function was created. our $speak = 'moo'. then you will need to declare the package namespace explicitly. You can create variables in ANY namespace you want.. as example (2) above refers to the $name package variable. { # START OF CODE BLOCK package Heifers. > Hogs::speak is 'oink' . Once the package variable exists.2 Declaring Package Variables With our 2) Use "our" to declare the variable. package Hogs. You must have perl 5. There is no restrictions in perl that prevent you from doing this. package this_package. The difference between the two methods is that always using package qualified variable names means you do NOT have to declare the package you are in.0 or later for "our" declarations. our $speak = 'oink'.. warn "name is '$name'". and you can refer to the variable just on its variable name. Using "our" is the preferred method. our $name='John'. we can access it any way we wish. that package namespace declaration remains in effect until the end of the block. Declaring a variable with "our" will create the variable in the current namespace. If the namespace is other than "main". once a package variable is declared with "our". our $speak = 'oink'.6. at which time. We do not HAVE to use the "our" shortcut even if we used it to declare it. However. package Hogs. 4. the package namespace reverts to the previous namespace. } # END OF CODE BLOCK warn "speak is '$speak'".4. 62 .

4 Lexical Scope Lexical refers to words or text. things that have lexical limitations (such as a package declaration) are only "visible" inside that lexical space. no strict. > Heifers::speak is 'moo' 4. so it does not exist when we try to print it out after the block. the "our Heifers. perl will know $speak does not exist when you attempt to print it. Scope refers to vision. and we now have to use a fully package qualified name to get to the variables in Heifers package." declaration has worn off. 4. In the above examples. { my $speak = 'moo'. A lexical scope exists while execution takes place inside of a particular chunk of source code. This "wearing off" is a function of the code block being a "lexical scope" and a package declaration only lasts to the end of the current lexical scope. Within a lexical scope.The Heifers namespace still exists. Lexical variables declared inside a lexical scope do not survive outside the lexical scope. no warnings." only exists inside the curly braces of the source code. our $speak = 'moo'. We had to turn warnings and strict off just to get it to compile because with warnings and strict on. So "lexical scope" refers to anything that is visible or has an effect only withing a certain boundary of the source text or source code. as in telescope. } print "Heifers::speak is '$Heifers::speak'\n". The easiest way to demonstrate lexical scoping is lexical variables. { package Heifers. and to show how lexical variables differ from "our" variables. The package variables declared inside the code block "survive" after the code block ends. the package declaration has gone out of scope.5 Lexical Variables Lexical variables are declared with the “my” keyword. } warn "speak is '$speak'\n". Its just that outside the code block. which is a technical way of saying its "worn off". as does all the variables that were declared in that namespace. so it will throw an exception and quit. > speak is '' The lexical variable "$speak" goes out of scope at the end of the code block (at the "}" character). Outside those curly braces. 63 . the "package Heifers.

never get garbage collected. package main. If nothing is using a lexical variable at the end of scope. The location of the variable will change each time. and are accessible from anyone's script. They also keep your data more private than a package variable.Lexically scoped variables have three main features: 1) Lexical variables do not belong to any package namespace. it is created dynamically. no strict. for (1 . and $lex_var is at a different address each time. 5) { my $lex_var ='canned goods'. perl will remove it from its memory. push(@cupboard. > main::cnt is '' 2) Lexical variables are only directly accessible from the point where they are declared to the end of the nearest enclosing block. } warn "some_lex is '$some_lex'". my $cnt='I am just a lexical'. print "$lex_ref\n". > some_lex is '' 3) Lexical variables are subject to "garbage collection" at the end of scope. we create a new $lex_var each time through the loop. Note in the example below. They generally keep you from stepping on someone else's toes. so you cannot prefix them with a package name. warn "main::cnt is '$main::cnt'". or file. my $lex_ref = \$lex_var. } > SCALAR(0x812e770) > SCALAR(0x812e6c8) > SCALAR(0x812e6e0) > SCALAR(0x81624c8) > SCALAR(0x814cf64) Lexical variables are just plain good. The example below shows that “my $cnt” is not the same as the “main::cnt”: no warnings. Every time a variable is declared with "my". 64 . subroutine. { my $some_lex = 'I am lex'.. my @cupboard. $lex_ref). eval. Package variables are permanent. during execution. never go out of scope.

perl will check to see if anyone is using that variable. This means that your program will never get smaller because of lexical variables going of of scope. so circular references will not get collected even if nothing points to the circle. perl will delete that variable and free up memory.6 Garbage Collection When a lexical variable goes out of scope. > some_lex is '' > referring var refers to 'I am lex' When the lexical $some_lex went out of scope. and if no one is using it. it remains under perl's jurisdiction. } 65 . { my $some_lex = 'I am lex'. The example below shows two variables that refer to each other but nothing refers to the two variables. no strict. then the lexical will not be garbage collected when it goes out of scope. and it retained its value of "I am lex". Perl will not garbage collect these variables even though they are completely inaccessible by the end of the code block. The freed up memory is not returned to the system. But perl can use garbage collected space for other lexical variables.4. we could no longer access it directly. warn "referring var refers to '$$referring_var'".1 Reference Count Garbage Collection Perl uses reference count based garbage collection.\$first). Once the memory is allocated for perl. If a lexical variable is a referent of another variable. 4. $referring_var=\$some_lex. my $referring_var. Note that the named variable $some_lex went out of scope at the end of the code block and could not be accessed by name. But since $referring_var is a reference to $some_lex. then $some_lex was never garbage collected. It is rudimentary reference counting.6. ($first.$last). rather the freed up memory is used for possible declarations of new lexically scoped variables that could be declared later in the program.$last)=(\$last. The data in $some_lex was still accessible through referring_var. } warn "some_lex is '$some_lex'". { my ($first.

$cnt. { my $cnt=0.} sub dec{$cnt--. inc.6. 66 . Subroutines that use a lexical variable declared outside of the subroutine declaration are called "CLOSURES". Since $cnt goes out of scope. two subroutines are declared in that same code block that use $cnt. However. The inc and dec subroutines are subroutine closures. then that variable will not be garbage collected as long as the subroutine exists. print "cnt is '$cnt'\n". is declared inside a code block and would normally get garbage collected at the end of the block. Therefore. The subroutine gets placed in the current declared package namespace. If a subroutine uses a lexical variable. the lexical variable. they never go out of scope or get garbage collected. > cnt > cnt > cnt > cnt > cnt > cnt is is is is is is '1' '2' '3' '2' '1' '2' Subroutine names are like names of package variables.} } inc. dec. inc. inc. print "cnt is '$cnt'\n". so $cnt is not garbage collected. In the example below. once declared. the only things that can access it after the code block are the subroutines. dec. sub inc{$cnt++. Note that a reference to $cnt is never taken. named subroutines are like package variables in that. however perl knows that $cnt is needed by the subroutines and therefore keeps it around.4.2 Garbage Collection and Subroutines Garbage collection does not rely strictly on references to a variable to determine if it should be garbage collected.

in different package namespaces. these subroutines print detailed information. Run.4. they are just global variables. In the event you DO end up using a package variable in your code. They are global. our $Verbose=1.7 Package Variables Revisited Package variables are not evil. Link. > compiling > linking > running The three subroutines could be in different files. } } sub Run { if ($Development::Verbose){ print "running\n". and they inherit all the possible problems associated with using global variables in your code. and they could all access the $Development::Verbose variable and act accordingly. which means they can be a convenient way for several different blocks of perl code to talk amongst themselves using an agreed upon global variable as their channel. If this variable is true. } } Compile. } } sub Link { if ($Development::Verbose){ print "linking\n". If it is false. package Development. these subroutines print little or no information. 67 . sub Compile { if ($Development::Verbose) { print "compiling\n". they do have some advantages. Imagine several subroutines across several files that all want to check a global variable: $Development::Verbose.

} } sub RunSilent { my $temp = $Development::Verbose. our $Verbose=1. and then set the global back to what it was. } } sub Run { if ($Development::Verbose){ print "running\n". That new value is seen by anyone accessing the variable. } } sub Link { if ($Development::Verbose){ print "linking\n". say we wish to create a RunSilent subroutine that stores $Development::Verbose in a temp variable. > compiling > linking This can also be accomplished with the "local()" function. Run. The RunSilent subroutine could be written like this: sub RunSilent { local($Development::Verbose)=0. RunSilent. The local function takes a package variable. And at the end of the lexical scope in which local() was called. 68 .4. package Development. $Development::Verbose=0. the original value for the variable is returned. sub Compile { if ($Development::Verbose) { print "compiling\n". saves off the original value.8 Calling local() on Package Variables When working with global variables. calls the original Run routine. and then sets $Development::Verbose back to its original value. allows you to assign a temp value to it. Continuing the previous example. Link. } Compile. Run. set it to a new and temporary value. execute some foreign code that will access this global. there are times when you want to save the current value of the global variable. $Development::Verbose=$temp.

But while the sigils for scalars.} Ping. you may access it with just NAME if you are in the correct package. similar to the way you can declare named variables and anonymous variables. The NAME of the subroutine is placed in the current package namespace. or with a fully package qualified name if you are outside the package. 5 Subroutines Perl allows you to declare named subroutines and anonymous subroutines. and hashes are mandatory.2 Named Subroutines Below is the named subroutine declaration syntax: sub NAME BLOCK NAME can be any valid perl identifier. 5. 5.} Perl originally started with nothing but package variables. So to deal with all the package variables. BLOCK is a code block enclosed in parenthesis. arrays. So once a named subroutine is declared. And you can use the optional ampersand sigil in either case. in the same way "our" variables go into the current package namespace. MyArea::Ping. &Ping. the sigil for subroutines is optional.1 Subroutine Sigil Subroutines use the ampersand ( & ) as their sigil. package MyArea. perl was given the local() function. Local is also a good way to create a temporary variable and make sure you don't step on someone else's variable of the same name. The "my" lexical variables were not introduced until perl version 4. sub Ping {print "ping\n". &MyArea::Ping. > ping > ping > ping > ping 69 .

The original containers are not known inside the subroutine.Once the current package declaration changes. For this reason. } my $temp = sub {print "Hello\n". print "ref returned '$string'\n". &Ping. things like Data::Dumper cannot look inside the code block and show you the actual code. MyArea::Ping. 70 . For normal subroutines. package MyArea. my $string = ref($scalar).3 Anonymous Subroutines Below is the anonymous subroutine declaration syntax: sub BLOCK This will return a code reference. my $temp = sub {print "Hello\n". The subroutine will not know if the list of scalars it receives came from scalars. all arguments go through the list context crushing machine and get reduced to a list of scalars. similar to how [] returns an array reference. which are discussed later. print Dumper $temp. and similar to how {} returns a hash reference. Instead Data::Dumper does not even try and just gives you a place holder that returns a dummy string.}.5 Passing Arguments to/from a Subroutine Any values you want to pass to a subroutine get put in the parenthesis at the subroutine call.} package YourArea. looking in current package YourArea > ping > ping > Undefined subroutine &YourArea::Ping 5. you MUST use a fully package qualified subroutine name to call the subroutine. > ref returned 'CODE' 5. or hashes.}. > $VAR1 = sub { "DUMMY" }. arrays. a subroutine can be declared with a prototype. what_is_it($temp). sub Ping {print "ping\n". 5. # error. To avoid some of the list context crushing.4 Data::Dumper and subroutines The contents of the code block are invisible to anything outside the code block. &MyArea::Ping. sub what_is_it { my ($scalar)=@_.

sub swap { my ($left.6 Accessing Arguments inside Subroutines via @_ Inside the subroutine. these arguments fit nicely into an array. Therefore. sub compare { my ($left.$right)=@_. @_ = ($right. the variables $one and $two would remain unchanged. > one is 'I am two' > two is 'I am one' Assigning to the entire @_ array does not work. } The @_ array is "magical" in that it is really a list of aliases for the original arguments passed in.$two). &$temp. return $left<=>$right. Subroutine parameters are effectively IN/OUT. #WRONG } 5.7 Dereferencing Code References Dereferencing a code reference causes the subroutine to be called. sub swap { (@_) = reverse(@_). the arguments are accessed via a special array called @_. } my $one = "I am one". If the arguments are fixed and known.$right)=@_. you have to assign to the individual elements. &{$temp}. warn "one is '$one'". If swap were defined like this. swap($one. my $two = "I am two". $temp->().}. # preferred > Hello > Hello > Hello 71 . my $temp = sub {print "Hello\n". since all the arguments passed in were reduced to list context. the preferred way to extract them is to assign @_ to a list of scalars with meaningful names. warn "two is '$two'".5. assigning a value to an element in @_ will change the value in the original variable that was passed into the subroutine call.$left). The preferred way is to use the arrow operator with parens. A code reference can be dereferenced by preceding it with an ampersand sigil or by using the arrow operator and parenthesis ">()". The @_ array can be processed just like any other regular array.

when using code references. $code_ref->(). } first_level(1. no implicit @_ $code_ref->(@_). the arrow operator is the preferred way to dereference a code reference. This generally is not a problem with named subroutines because you probably will not use the "&" sigil. > 3 > ]. # explicitly pass @_ $code_ref->( 'one'. This can cause subtly odd behavior if you are not expecting it. } sub first_level { # using '&' sigil and no parens.8 Implied Arguments When calling a subroutine with the "&" sigil prefix and no parenthesis. the current @_ array gets implicitly passed to the subroutine being called. For this reason. &second_level. # pass new parameters 72 . # doesn't look like I'm passing any params # but perl will pass @_ implicitly.2. sub second_level { print Dumper \@_. 'two' ).5. dereferencing using the "&" may cause implied arguments to be passed to the new subroutine. > 2.3). > $VAR1 = [ > 1. However. # pass nothing.

> $VAR1 = \'boo'. print Dumper \@arr_var. } my @arr_var =ret_arr.5. > $VAR1 = [ > 1. # return a list of values sub ret_arr { return (1. The problem is that the subroutine needs to know if it is called in scalar context or array context. # undef or empty list } my $scal_var = this_is_false. sub this_is_false { return. In boolean context. A return statement by itself will return undef in scalar context and an empty list in list context. # return a single scalar sub ret_scal { return "boo". This is the preferred way to return false in a subroutine. 5. an array with one or more elements is considered true.2. 73 . } my $scal_var = ret_scal. Returning a simple "undef" value (or 0 or 0.10 Returning False The return value of a subroutine is often used within a boolean test. print Dumper \$scal_var.3).9 Subroutine Return Value Subroutines can return a single value or a list of values. or it can be implied to be the last statement of the subroutine. but in array context.0 or "") will work in scalar context. The return value can be explicit. An explicit return statement is the preferred approach if any return value is desired. my @arr_var = this_is_false. it will create an array with the first element set to undef. > 3 > ]. > 2.

that information is hidden in lexical scope. > undef. > 13.11 Using the caller() Function in Subroutines The caller() function can be used in a subroutine to find out information about where the subroutine was called from and how it was called. > 'main::HowWasICalled'. > undef. the default package namespace. scalar=0. void=undef $evaltext evaluated text if an eval block $is_require true if created by "require" or "use" $hints internal use only.pl'.pl. disregard Note in the example above. the code is in a file called test. > 1. disregard $bitmask internal use only. >$VAR1 = [ > 'main'. and it occurred at line 13 of the file. } HowWasICalled. The call occurred in package main. use caller(0). 74 . > 'UUUUUUUUUUUU' > ]. sub HowWasICalled { my @info = caller(0). Caller takes one argument that indicates how far back in the call stack to get its information from. > 2. print Dumper \@info.5. For information about the current subroutine. The package qualified name of the subroutine that was called was main::HowWasICalled. > './test. The caller() function returns a list of information in the following order 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 $package package namespace at time of call $filename filename where called occurred $line line number in file where call occurred $subroutine name of subroutine called $hasargs true if explicit arguments passed in $wantarray list=1. > undef. The package qualified name must be given since you don't know what package is current where the subroutine was called from.

5.12 The caller() function and $wantarray
The argument of interest is the $wantarray argument. This indicates what return value is expected of
the subroutine from where it was called. The subroutine could have been called in void context
meaning the return value is thrown away. Or it could have been called and the return value assigned to
a scalar. Or it could have been called and the return value assigned to a list of scalars.
sub CheckMyWantArray {
my @info = caller(0);
my $wantarray = $info[5];
$wantarray='undef' unless(defined($wantarray));
print "wantarray is '$wantarray'\n";
}
CheckMyWantArray; #undef
my $scal = CheckMyWantArray; # 0
my @arr = CheckMyWantArray; # 1
> wantarray is 'undef'
> wantarray is '0'
> wantarray is '1'

5.13 Context Sensitive Subroutines with wantarray()
You can use the wantarray variable from caller() to create a subroutine that is sensitive to the context in
which it was called.
sub ArrayProcessor {
my @info = caller(0);
my $wantarray = $info[5];
return unless(defined($wantarray));
if($wantarray) {
return @_;
} else {
return scalar(@_);
}
}
my @arr=qw(alpha bravo charlie);
ArrayProcessor(@arr);
my $scal = ArrayProcessor(@arr); # 3
my @ret_arr = ArrayProcessor(@arr); # alpha ...
print "scal is '$scal'\n";
print Dumper \@ret_arr;
> scal is '3'
>$VAR1 = [
> 'alpha',
> 'bravo',
> 'charlie'
> ];
75

6 Compiling and Interpreting
When perl works on your source code, it will always be in one of two modes: compiling or interpreting.
Perl has some hooks to allow access into these different cycles. They are code blocks that are prefixed
with BEGIN, CHECK, INIT, and END.
Compiling: translating the source text into machine usable internal format.
Interpreting: executing the machine usable, internal format.
The BEGIN block is immediate.
BEGIN -> execute block as soon as it is compiled, even before compiling anything else.
The other blocks, including normal code, do not execute until after the entire program has been
compiled. When anything other than a BEGIN block is encountered, they are compiled and scheduled
for execution, but perl continues compiling the rest of the program. The execution order is CHECK,
INIT, normal code, and END blocks.
CHECK -> Schedule these blocks for execution after all source code has been compiled.
INIT-> Schedule these blocks for execution after the CHECK blocks have executed.
normal code -> Schedule normal code to execute after all INIT blocks.
END -> Schedule for execution after normal code has completed.
Multiple BEGIN blocks are executed immediately in NORMAL declaration order.
Multiple CHECK blocks are scheduled to execute in REVERSE declaration order.
Multiple INIT blocks are scheduled to execute in NORMAL declaration order.
Multiple END blocks are scheduled to execute in REVERSE declaration order.

76

An example containing several CHECK, INIT, normal code, and END blocks. The output shows the
execution order:
END { print "END 1\n" }
CHECK { print "CHECK 1\n"
BEGIN { print "BEGIN 1\n"
INIT { print "INIT 1\n" }
print "normal\n";
INIT { print "INIT 2\n" }
BEGIN { print "BEGIN 2\n"
CHECK { print "CHECK 2\n"
END { print "END 2\n" }
> BEGIN 1
> BEGIN 2
> CHECK 2
> CHECK 1
> INIT 1
> INIT 2
> normal
> END 2
> END 1

}
}

}
}

77

After any new package declaration you will need to turn on warnings. Perhaps you have some subroutines that are especially handy. The content of a perl module is any valid perl code. such as subroutine declarations and possibly declarations of private or public variables.pm. Perl Modules Lets say you come up with some really great chunks of perl code that you want to use in several different programs. 78 . anyone can call the subroutine by calling Dog::Speak. and then you would use the "use" statement to read in the module. would have to be in the same directory. The best place to put code to be used in many different programs is in a "Perl Module". and perhaps they have some private data associated with them. you might put it in a module called Dog. sub Speak { print "Woof!\n". Once the Dog module has been used.. A perl module is really just a file with an invented name and a ".7 Code Reuse. ends up in the current package namespace. use strict. like any normal subroutine. } 1. use Data::Dumper.. Dog. which. The Dog module declares its package namespace to be Dog. Here is an example of our Dog module. Dog::Speak." otherwise you will get a compile error: Dog. use warnings. ###filename: Dog.pm did not return a true value . Generally. It is standard convention that all perl modules start out with a "package" declaration that declares the package namespace to be the same as the module name. 8 The use Statement The "use" statement allows a perl script to bring in a perl module and use whatever declarations have been made available by the module. and then "use" that module. If you had some handy code for modeling a dog. a file called script. etc. Continuing our example.pl could bring in the Dog module like this: use Dog. These declared subroutines can be called and public variables can be accessed by any perl script that uses the module. The module then declares a subroutine called "Speak".pm package Dog.pl. Dog. The "pm" is short for "perl module".pm" extension. > Woof! Both files.pm and script. perl modules contain declarations. # MUST BE LAST STATEMENT IN FILE All perl modules must end with "1.

"require" will translate the double colons into whatever directory separator is used on your system. Perl will initialize this array to some default directories to look for any modules. So perl would look for Pets::Dog::GermanShepard in Pets/Dog/ for a file called GermanShepard. such as "use warnings.9 The use Statement. For Linux style systems. } The MODULENAME follows the package namespace convention. use Dogs. User created module names should be mixed case.pm 9. meaning it would be either a single identifier or multiple identifiers separated by double-colons. 79 . Pets::Cat::Persian. Because the "require" statement is in a BEGIN block. The "use" statement is exactly equivalent to this: BEGIN { require MODULENAME. So this will not work: push(@INC. Formally The "use" statement can be formally defined as this: use MODULENAME ( LISTOFARGS ). The "require" statement is what actually reads in the module file." Module names with all upper case letters are just ugly and could get confused with built in words. These are all valid MODULENAMES: use use use use Dog. you can add this subdirectory to @INC and perl will find any modules located there. it would be a "/".'/home/username/perlmodules'). If you want to create a subdirectory just for your modules. Module names with all lower case are reserved for built in pragmas. When performing the search for the module file.1 The @INC Array The "require" statement will look for the module path/file in all the directories listed in a global array called @INC. it will execute immediately after being compiled. MODULENAME->import( LISTOFARGS ). though. Pets::Dog. Pets::Dog::GermanShepard.

The "use" statement will get compiled and executed immediately. use Dogs.This is because the "push" statement will get compiled and then be scheduled for execution after the entire program has been compiled. 9.2 The use lib Statement The "use lib" statement is my preferred way of adding directory paths to the @INC array. 80 . for you Linux heads. perl compiles it. 9. 9. So if you want to include a directory under your home directory. Also. If you don't have PERL5LIB set. the module gets executed immediately as well.'/home/username/perlmodules'). This means any executable code gets executed. Because the require statement is in a BEGIN block. use lib glob('~/perlmodules').3 The PERL5LIB and PERLLIB Environment Variables The "require" statement also searches for MODULENAME in any directories listed in the environment variable called PERL5LIB. Just say something like this: use lib '/home/username/perlmodules'. The "glob" function uses the shell translations on a path. because it does not need a BEGIN block.4 The require Statement Once the require statement has found the module. Consult your shell documentation to determine how to set this environment variable. so @INC will not be changed when "use" is called. The PERL5LIB variable is a colon separated list of directory paths. } use Dogs. note that the home directory symbol "~" is only meaningful in a linux shell. Perl does not understand it. The MODULENAME->import statement is then executed. Any code that is not a declaration will execute at this point. perl will search for MODULENAME in any directory listed in the PERLLIB environment variable. you will need to call "glob" to translate "~" to something perl will understand. You could say something like this: BEGIN { push(@INC. before the "push" is executed.

A method call is a fancy way of doing a subroutine call with a couple of extra bells and whistles bolted on. print Dumper \@var. Basically. which has not been introduced yet. instead of having to say: use Data::Dumper.5 MODULENAME -> import (LISTOFARGS) The MODULENAME->import(LISTOFARGS) statement is a "method call".9. one of the bells and whistles of a method call is a thing called "inheritance". to be more accurate. print Data::Dumper::Dumper \@var. The import method is a way for a module to import subroutines or variables to the caller's package. So. which has not been introduced yet. if your perl module OR ITS BASE CLASS(ES) declares a subroutine called "import" then it will get executed at this time. More advancedly. This happens when you use Data::Dumper in your script. if your perl module declares a subroutine called "import" then it will get executed at this time. A subroutine called "Dumper" from the package Data::Dumper gets imported into your package namespace. Which is why you can say use Data::Dumper. 81 .

} sub import { warn "calling import".pl use warnings.pm package Dog.pl line 4.6 The use Execution Timeline The following example shows the complete execution timeline during a use statement. use Data::Dumper. > just after use Dog at . } 1. > with the following args > $VAR1 = [ > 'Dog'. print "with the following args\n". print Dumper \@_.pm line 7. > 'GermanShepard' > ]. ###filename:Dog. > Woof! 82 .pl line 6. > just before use Dog at . Dog::Speak. #!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:script. use Data::Dumper./script. use Dog ('GermanShepard'). warn "just after use Dog". use strict.pm line 4./script. #MUST BE LAST STATEMENT IN FILE > executing normal code at Dog. warn "just before use Dog". > calling import at Dog. warn "executing normal code".9. use warnings. sub Speak { print "Woof!\n". use strict.

pl line 6. and a reference. my @arr=(1. > ARRAY at . > str is 'ARRAY' Normally. The bless() function is the basis for Object Oriented Perl./script. # referent my $rarr = \@arr. # call ref() warn "str is '$str'". bless REFERENCE.ref(4). STRING. warn ref({})./script. but bless() by itself is overwhelmingly simple. ARRAY. @arr."'". or empty-string depending on what type of referent it is referred to. 83 ./script. CODE./script. > '' at . ref() will return SCALAR. then calling ref($rarr) will return the string "ARRAY". warn ref(sub{}).pl line 4. > CODE at .pl line 8. > HASH at . $rarr=\@arr.pl line 5. The bless function modifies the referent pointed to by the reference and attaches the given string such that ref() will return that string. > SCALAR at . warn "'"./script. Quick reference refresher: Given an array referent. The bless function will then return the original reference.10 bless() The bless() function is so simple that people usually have a hard time understanding it because they make it far more complicated than it really is. # reference to referent my $str = ref($rarr).pl line 7. All bless does is change the string that would be returned when ref() is called.3). warn ref([]).2. warn ref(\4). The bless function takes a reference and a string as input. HASH.

"Curlies")). # call ref() warn "str is '$str'"./script. my $str = ref($rarr). but with one line added to do the bless: my @arr=(1. We will see this difference with method calls.3). All bless() does is affect the value returned by ref(). warn ref(bless([]. # referent my $rarr = \@arr.pl line 8. But because of this new name. only the name returned by ref(). we can call ref() on the return value and accomplish it in one line: my $sca=4./script."Box"))."Action")). That is it. If a religious figure took water and blessed it. > str is 'Counter' Since bless() returns the reference.pl line 5.pl line 6.Here is an example of bless() in action. It does not affect the contents of the referent. however it was given a new name./script. In perl. 84 . bless() changes the name of a referent. "Counter"). > Box at . > Curlies at .pl line 7. The constitution and makeup of the water did not change."Four")). # reference to referent bless($rarr. warn ref(bless({}./script. You might be wondering why the word "bless" was chosen.2. the referent might be used differently or behave differently. warn ref(bless(sub{}. > Four at . Note this is exactly the same as the code in the first example. > Action at . warn ref(bless(\$sca. and because of that name it might be used differently. then people would refer to it as "holy water".

sub Speak { print Dumper \@_. You can call the subroutine using its short name if you are still in the package. 85 .11 Method Calls We have seen method calls before. it goes into the current package namespace. > Woof > Woof A method call is similar. > $VAR1 = [ > 'Dog'. This may not seem very useful. Or you can use the fully qualified package name. The INVOCANT is the thing that "invoked" the METHOD. } Dog -> Speak (3). but the simplest thing it can be is just a bareword package name to go look for the subroutine called METHOD. The second difference between a subroutine call and a method call is inheritance. } Speak. The MODULENAME->import(LISTOFARGS) was a method call. the INVOCANT always gets unshifted into the @_ array in the subroutine call. some more useful than others. use Data::Dumper. package Dog. use strict. sub Speak { print "Woof\n". # INVOCANT > 3 # first user argument > ]. but we had to do some handwaving to get beyond it. So what is different? First. but an INVOCANT can be many different things. and be guaranteed it will work every time. package Dog. Quick review of package qualified subroutine names: When you declare a subroutine. calling it a fancy subroutine call. Dog::Speak. Here is the generic definition: INVOCANT -> METHOD ( LISTOFARGS ). > Woof So it is almost the same as using a package qualified subroutine name Dog::Speak. An invocant can be several different things. use warnings. Dog -> Speak.

86 . sniff at Shepard. sub Speak { my ($invocant. It did not find one. perl still passes Dog::Speak the original invocant. sniff". warn "invocant is '$invocant'".pm line 8. use Data::Dumper. use strict. Notice that script. use base Dog. #!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:script. And script.pm package Dog. Shepard->Track.pl used Shepard. > sniff. When script. use warnings. ###filename:Dog. perl first looked in the Shepard namespace for a subroutine called Shepard::Speak. Even though perl ended up calling Dog::Speak. $count) = @_. It then looked for a subroutine called Dog::Speak. which was "Shepard" in this case.11. The specific breeds of dogs will likely be able to inherit some behaviors (subroutine/methods) from a base class that describes all dogs. So then it looked and found a BASE of Shepard called Dog. } } 1. Also notice that the subroutine Dog::Speak received an invocant of "Shepard". > Woof at Dog.pm line 4. The unexplained bit of magic is that inheritance uses the "use base" statement to determine what packages to inherit from. ###filename:Shepard.pl called Shepard->Speak. not Dog.pm package Shepard.pm line 8. Shepard INHERITED the Speak subroutine from the Dog package.. > Woof at Dog. and called that subroutine. } 1. found one. Shepard->Speak(2). > invocant is 'Shepard' at Dog. Say we model a German Shepard that has the ability to track a scent better than other breeds. $count) { warn "Woof". for(1 .pl always used Shepard as the invocant for its method calls. But German Shepards still bark like all dogs.pl use Shepard. sub Track { warn "sniff.pm line 6.1 Inheritance Say you want to model several specific breeds of dogs.

MODULENAME) is new. If this approach does not work for your application. push(@ISA. This is not necessarily the "best" way to search. you can change it with a module from CPAN. but it is how perl searches. } The require statement goes and looks for MODULENAME. The @ISA array is named that way because "Shepard" IS A "Dog".11. is functionally identical to this: BEGIN { require MODULENAME. The push(@ISA. MODULENAME). it will then go through the contents of the @ISA array. When a method call looks in a package namespace for a subroutine and does not find one. The @ISA array contains any packages that are BASE packages of the current package.2 use base This statement: use base MODULENAME. therefore ISA. left-to-right. The search order is depth-first. 87 . so you will want to learn it.pm using the search pattern that we described in the "use" section earlier.

Well. = (). 88 .Imagine a Child module has the following family inheritance tree: Child.pm => qw ( qw ( qw ( @ISA @ISA @ISA @ISA Father Mother ). # FALSE 11. # FALSE (can't track a scent) 11. Child->isa("MothersMother").pm => @ISA = Mother. = (). when using a reference as an invocant.pm => MothersFather.pm => FathersMother. FathersFather FathersMother ). Remember bless() changes the string returned by ref(). = ().5 Interesting Invocants So far we have only used bareword invocants that correspond to package names.pm => @ISA = Father. Perl allows a more interesting invocant to be used with method calls: a blessed referent.4 INVOCANT->can(METHODNAME) The "can" method will tell you if the INVOCANT can call METHODNAME successfully. MothersFather MothersMother ). perl will call ref() on the reference and use the string returned as starting package namespace to begin searching for the method/subroutine. = ().pm => MothersMother.pm => @ISA = FathersFather. Shepard->Track. Shepard->can("Speak"). # TRUE Child->isa("Shepard"). Perl will search for Child->Method through the inheritance tree in the following order: Child Father FathersFather FathersMother Mother MothersFather MothersMother 11. # TRUE (Woof) Child->can("Track").3 INVOCANT->isa(BASEPACKAGE) The "isa" method will tell you if BASEPACKAGE exists anywhere in the @ISA inheritance tree.

Here is our simple Dog example but with a blessed invocant.
###filename:Dog.pm
package Dog;
use warnings; use strict; use Data::Dumper;
sub Speak {
my ($invocant, $count) = @_;
warn "invocant is '$invocant'";
for(1 .. $count) { warn "Woof"; }
} 1;
#!/usr/local/env perl
###filename:script.pl
use Dog;
my $invocant=bless {},'Dog'; ### BLESSED INVOCANT
$invocant->Speak(2);
> invocant is 'Dog=HASH(0x8124394)' at Dog.pm line 6
> Woof at Dog.pm line 8.
> Woof at Dog.pm line 8.
The my $invocant=bless {},"Dog"; is the new line. The bless part creates an anonymous
hash, {}, and blesses it with the name "Dog". If you called ref($invocant), it would return the string
"Dog".
So perl uses "Dog" as its "child" class to begin its method search through the hierarchy tree. When it
finds the method, it passes the original invocant, the anonmous hash, to the method as the first
argument.
Well, since we have an anonymous hash passed around anyway, maybe we could use it to store some
information about the different dogs that we are dealing with. In fact, we already know all the grammar
we need to know about Object Oriented Perl Programming, we just need to speak different sentences
now.

89

12 Procedural Perl
So far, all the perl coding we have done has been "procedural" perl. When you hear "procedural" think
of "Picard", as in Captain Picard of the starship Enterprise. Picard always gave the ship's computer
commands in the form of procedural statements.
Computer, set warp drive to 5.
Computer, set shields to "off".
Computer, fire weapons: phasers and photon
torpedoes.
The subject of the sentences was always "Computer". In procedural programming, the subject
"computer" is implied, the way the subject "you" is implied in the sentence: "Stop!"
The verb and direct object of Picard's sentences become the subroutine name in proceedural
programming. Whatever is left become arguments passed in to the subroutine call.
set_warp(5);
set_shield(0);
fire_weapons qw(phasers photon_torpedoes);

13 Object Oriented Perl
Object oriented perl does not use an implied "Computer" as the subject for its sentences. Instead, it uses
what was the direct object in the procedural sentences and makes it the subject in object oriented
programming.
Warp Drive, set yourself to 5.
Shields, set yourself to "off".
Phasors, fire yourself.
Torpedoes, fire yourself.
But how would we code these sentences?

90

Here is a minimal example of object oriented perl. There is a class called “Animal”. It has a constructor
called MakeNew and a method called Speak. The script uses the Animal module, creates instances of
Animal objects, and calls the Speak method on each one.
###filename:Animal.pm
package Animal;
sub MakeNew {
my ($invocant,$name)=@_;
my $object = {};
$object->{Name}=$name;
bless($object, $invocant);
return $object;
}
sub Speak {
my ($obj)=@_;
my $name = $obj->{Name};
print "$name growls\n";
}
1;

#
#
#
#
#
#

our constructor
class and name are passed in
hash to store data
put name into hash
bless hash into class
return hash/instance/object

#
#
#
#

some method
hash/instance/object passed in
get name of this instance
say who is speaking

#!/usr/local/env perl
###filename:script.pl
use Animal;
# note that 'Animal' is passed in to MakeNew
# as first parameter. 'Samson' is second parameter.
# 'Animal' becomes $invocant. 'Samson' becomes $name.
my $lion = Animal->MakeNew('Samson'); # create an instance
# note that the blessed hash reference, $lion, is passed
# into Speak method as first parameter. It becomes $obj.
$lion->Speak(); # call method on this instance
my $tiger = Animal->MakeNew('Fuzzball');
$tiger->Speak();
my $bear = Animal->MakeNew('Smokey');
$tiger->Speak();
> Samson growls
> Fuzzball growls
> Smokey growls

91

This module contains one subroutine that takes the invocant and a Name. The first thing we want to do is process objects as an array. But once you start adding things like inheritance and polymorphism. Then we create a Dog module that uses Animal as its base to get the contructor. the advantages of object oriented become more obvious. The method prints the name of the dog when they bark so we know who said what. We then add a method to let dogs bark. rather than as individually named variables. Perhaps we are coding up an inventory system for a pet store. This subroutine is an object contructor. Assume we want to keep track of several dogs at once. This return value becomes a "Animal" object. 92 .pm perl module. Lets return to a familiar example. our Dog module. so we create an Animal. puts the Name into a hash. First. and returns a reference to the hash.So what? Basic Object Oriented does nothing that cannot be just as easily done in procedural perl. we want a common way to handle all pets. blesses the hash.

pm line 7. # create 3 Dog objects and put them in @pets array foreach my $name qw(Butch Spike Fluffy) { push(@pets. adverbs. } 1.pl says $pet->Speak. > Fluffy says Woof at Dog. Notice the last foreach loop in script. warn "$name says Woof". sub Speak { my ($obj)=@_.$invocant).pl creates three dogs and stores them in an array. } 1. my $name=$obj->{Name}. use base Animal. because if you translated that statement to English. etc ).pl use Dog. Object Oriented Programming statements are of the form: $subject -> verb ( adjectives.$name)=@_. ###filename:Animal. my @pets. 93 . #!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:script.The script. foreach my $pet (@pets) { $pet->Speak. it would be "Pet.pm package Animal. The subject of the sentence is "Pet". > Spike says Woof at Dog. } # have every pet speak for themselves.pm package Dog. The script then goes through the array and calls the Speak method on each object. rather than the implied "Computer" of procedural programming. Dog->New($name)). ###filename:Dog. return bless({Name=>$name}.pm line 7. } > Butch says Woof at Dog. speak for yourself".pm line 7. sub New { my ($invocant. This is object oriented programming.

#create some dog objects foreach my $name qw(Butch Spike Fluffy) { push(@pets.pm line 7.pl use Dog.pm line 7. my @pets. Fluffy says Woof at Dog.pm line 7. ###filename:Cat. Fluffy says Meow at Cat. Expanding our previous example.pl to put some cats in the @pets array. use base Animal. # polymorphism at work } > > > > > > Butch says Woof at Dog.1 Class The term "class" refers to a perl package/module that is used in an object oriented way. If it's an OO package. Dog->New($name)). warn "$name says Meow". Then we modify script. you can call it a “class”. Fang says Meow at Cat. use Cat. Furball says Meow at Cat.13.pm package Cat.pm line 7. foreach my $pet (@pets) { $pet->Speak.pm line 7. 94 . Spike says Woof at Dog. } 1. } # create some cat objects foreach my $name qw(Fang Furball Fluffy) { push(@pets. 13. #!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:script.pm line 7.2 Polymorphism Polymorphism is a real fancy way of saying having different types of objects that have the same methods. } # have all the pets say something. A perl package that is designed for procedural use is simply called a package. sub Speak { my $obj=shift. Cat->New($name)). my $name=$obj->{Name}. we might want to add a Cat class to handle cats at the pet store.

Notice how the last loop goes through all the pets and has each one speak for themselves. $_[0]->SUPER::Speak. my $dog=Shepard->New("Spike"). the animal will say whatever is appropriate for its type. which would make changing the base class a lot of work. sub New { return bless({Name=>$_[1]}. warn "$name says Grrr". use Shepard.3 SUPER SUPER:: is an interesting bit of magic that allows a child object with a method call that same method name in its parent's class.pm package Shepard. 13. > Spike says Grrr at Shepard. But this scatters hardcoded names of the base class throughout Shepard. sub Speak { my $name=$_[0]->{Name}.$_[0]). Whether its a dog or cat. use base Dog. 95 . } sub Speak { my $name=$_[0]->{Name}. ###filename:Dog. ###filename:Shepard. This is polymorphism. use strict. The Shepard module uses Dog as its base. warn "$name says Woof". Back to the dogs. the only way that Shepard can call Dog's version of speak is to use a fully package qualified name Dog::Speak().pl use warnings. and has a Speak method that growls. And each object just knows how to do what it should do. } 1.pm line 6. and then calls its ancestor's Dog version of speak. > Spike says Woof at Dog.pm package Dog. #!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:script.pm line 8. the constructor New was moved to Dog. ### SUPER } 1.pm. Without the magic of SUPER. use Data::Dumper. To shorten the example. The code processes a bunch of objects and calls the same method on each object. $dog->Speak.

FathersMother. built-in way to do this in perl. you might want a method that calls its parent method but then multiplies the result by minus one or something. If "Father" has a method called Speak and that method calls SUPER::Speak.pm" module available on CPAN. SUPER is a way of saying. have-not-evenmet-her-yet mother-in-law. "look at my ancestors and call their version of this method. The FatherOfTheBride would pay for the wedding. In cases like this.If Shepard's version of Speak simply said $_[0]->Speak. Unfortunately. and FathersFather. though. SUPER does have its uses. then SUPER will not work. it is legitimate to have what you might consider to be "universal" methods that exist for every class. and then call SUPER::ContributeToWedding. This means if the method FathersFather needed to call was in MothersMother. However. the only modules that will get looked at is "FathersFather" and "FathersMother". and so on and so forth. Father and Mother as parents. and every base class has a method called "ContributeToWedding". I will refer you to the "NEXT. since you would assume that Father was designed only knowing about FathersFather and FathersMother. Consider the big family tree inheritance diagram in the "use base" section of this document (the one with Child as the root. When Father was coded. it would get into an infinite loop calling itself recursively. you could instead create a derived class that inherits the base class and rewrite the method to do what you want it to do. every class could do its part. could be considered a bad thing. SUPER looks up the hierarchy starting at the class from where it was called. SUPER will do the trick. Rather than modify the original code to do what you want it to. Instead of a class called "Child" imagine a class called "CoupleAboutToGetMarried"." There are some limitations with SUPER. there is no easy. Many times a class might exist that does ALMOST what you want it to do. So designing Father to rely on his future. the FatherOfTheGroom would pay for the rehersal dinner. This could be considered a good thing. Imagine an object of type "Child". In that case. 96 . For example. MothersMother was a complete stranger he would not meet for years to come. etc as grandparents).

#!/usr/local/env perl ###filename:script. If no such method exists." has been sold"). With an object that has a complex hierarchical family tree. $dog=undef. > Spike has been sold at Dog. then Mother's not going to handle her demise properly and you will likely have ghosts when you run your program.$_[0]). perl will only call the FIRST method of DESTROY that it finds in the ancestry.pm package Dog. perl will call the DESTROY method on the object. The DESTROY method has similar limitations as SUPER. perl silently moves on and cleans up the object data.pl use warnings. use strict. and the object is scheduled for garbage collection.pm module on CPAN also solves this limitation. } sub DESTROY { warn (($_[0]->{Name}). If Mother and Father both have a DESTROY method. The NEXT. ###filename:Dog. } 1.pm line 7. use Dog. my $dog=Dog->New("Spike"). 97 . use Data::Dumper. Just prior to deleting the object and any of its internal data. sub New { return bless({Name=>$_[1]}.4 Object Destruction Object destruction occurs when all the references to a specific object have gone out of lexical scope.13.

and then return the reference. it can be used as an object. Once its referent is blessed. use the reference to bless the variable into the class.1 Modules The basis for code reuse in perl is a module. and so on. it will declare subroutines that will be used as constructors or methods. and different instances had Name values of "Fluffy". If the module is designed for object oriented use. In the Animal. one key was "Name". The best way of calling a constructor is to use the arrow operator: my $object = Classname->Constructor(arguments).2 use Module The code in a perl module can be made available to your script by saying "use MODULE.pm" and declares a package namespace that (hopefully) matches the name of the file. Any double-colons (::) in the module name being used get converted to a directory separator symbol of the operating system. The best way to add directories to the @INC variable is to say use lib "/path/to/dir". If the module is OO. and the Values correspond to the attribute values specific to that particular instance. Keys to the hash correspond to object attribute names. The object is usually a hash. "Spike". 14. this would look like: my $pet = Animal->New('Spike') The name of the constructor can be any valid subroutine name. then the module is sometimes referred to as a "class". The module can be designed for procedural programming or object oriented programming (OO). it will provide subroutine declarations that can be called like normal subroutines. and the reference is a handy way of passing the object around. In the Animal." The "use" statement will look for the module in the directories listed in the PERL5LIB environment variable and then the directories listed in the @INC variable.pm module example. 14.pm class. 98 . but is usually "new" or "New". Constructors are subroutines that create a reference to some variable.3 bless / constructors If the module is designed for procedural programming. A perl module is a file that ends in ".14 Object Oriented Review 14.

etc.4 Methods Once an instance of an object has been constructed. In the Animal. use base BaseClassName. If a derived class overrides a method of its base class. A method is simply a subroutine that receives a reference to the instance variable as its first argument. 14. or "verbs" in a sentences with instances being the "subject". This allows many similar classes to put all their common methods in a single base class.14. 14.6 Overriding Methods and SUPER Classes can override the methods of their base classes. "Speak" was a method that used the Name of the instance to print out "$name says woof". In the above examples. If a base class contains a method called "MethodName". The only way to accomplish this is with the SUPER:: pseudopackage name. Methods should be thought of as "actions" to be performed on the instance. then a derived class can override the base class method by declaring its own subroutine called MethodName. perform operations. The preferred way of calling a method is using the arrow method. The classes Cat and Dog inherit from the base class Animal. it may want to call its base class method. Both Dog and Cat classes inherit the constructor "New" method from the Animal base class. use the "use base" statement. the Cat and Dog classes both inherit from a common Animal class. Cat and Dog are "derived" from Animal. methods can be called on the instance to get information. 99 . In the examples above.5 Inheritance Classes can inherit methods from base classes. The GermanShepard method named Speak called the Dog version of Speak by calling: $obj->SUPER::Speak. the GermanShepard derived class overrode the Dog base class Speak method with its own method. change values.pm example. In one example above. $ObjectInstance -> Method ( list of arguments ). To have a class inherit from a base class. this would look like: $pet->Speak.

which will be a file with a tar. which contains a plethora of perl module for anyone to download.pm file to your home directory (or anywhere you have read/write privileges).tar.gz (you should use the latest version. then you can copy the . FAQs. If you do not have root privileges and the module is pure perl (just a .pm module. it installs both modules for you with one command. then download the tarball. untars it.60. source code to install perl.PL make make test su root make install exit The "make install" step requires root privileges. which automates the creation of a module to be uploaded to CPAN.) > gunzip NEXT-0.pm file). Here is the standard installation steps for a module. you give it the name of a module. and it downloads it from the web. which provides a shell interface for automating the downloading of perl modules from the CPAN website. which is contained in NEXT-0.60. There is also a CPAN perl module.1 CPAN.60 From here. Once you find a module that might do what you need. there is a "h2xs" utility. The Perl Module The CPAN.60. If the README looks promising.org CPAN contains a number of search engines. A "perldoc" utility comes with perl that allows viewing of POD. 15. and then set your PERL5LIB environment variable to point to that directory. More interestingly.2 CPAN. There is a CPAN website. The Web Site CPAN is a website that contains all things perl: help.pm module is a module that automates the installation process. If you install a module that requires a separate module.gz extension. most modules install with the exact same commands: > > > > > > perl Makefile. And finally. The "exit" step is shown just so you remember to log out from root. it will install any dependencies for you as well. which is "Plain Old Documentation" embedded within the perl modules downloaded from CPAN.tar > cd NEXT-0.15 CPAN CPAN is an acronym for "Comprehensive Perl Archive Network".gz > tar -xf NEXT-0. http://www. a plethora of perl module so that you can re-use someone else's code. 100 .cpan. you can view the README file that is usually available online before actually downloading the module. and most importantly. and installs it for you. 15. This example is for the NEXT.tar. if available.

101 . Most can be answered with the default value (press <return>).pm module is run from a shell mode as root (you need root privileges to do the install). it will ask you a bunch of configuration questions.pm will also want ncftpget. Install these on your system before running the CPAN module. Change to root.CPAN. Lynx is a text-based webbrowser. and then run the CPAN. > su root > perl -MCPAN -e shell The first time it is run. The CPAN. CPAN.pm module shell.pm will want you to have lynx installed on your machine. which is an Internet file transfer program for scripts.

it will go directly to the cpan shell prompt.PL? [0] Your ftp_proxy? Your http_proxy? Your no_proxy? Select your continent (or several nearby continents) [] > 5 Select your country (or several nearby countries) [] > 3 Select as many URLs as you like.PL' command? Your choice: [] Parameters for the 'make' command? Your choice: [] Parameters for the 'make install' command? Your choice: [] Timeout for inactivity during Makefile.cpan] Cache size for build directory (in MB)? [10] Perform cache scanning (atstart or never)? [atstart] Cache metadata (yes/no)? [yes] Your terminal expects ISO-8859-1 (yes/no)? [yes] Policy on building prerequisites (follow.Here is a log from the CPAN being run for the first time on my machine: Are you ready for manual configuration? [yes] CPAN build and cache directory? [/home/greg/. 102 .de:1404] cpan> That last line is actually the cpan shell prompt.uni-dortmund. ask or ignore)? [ask] Where is your gzip program? [/usr/bin/gzip] Where is your tar program? [/bin/tar] Where is your unzip program? [/usr/bin/unzip] Where is your make program? [/usr/bin/make] Where is your lynx program? [] > /usr/bin/lynx Where is your wget program? [/usr/bin/wget] Where is your ncftpget program? [] > /usr/bin/ncftpget Where is your ftp program? [/usr/bin/ftp] What is your favorite pager program? [/usr/bin/less] What is your favorite shell? [/bin/bash] Parameters for the 'perl Makefile. separated by blanks [] > 3 5 7 11 13 Enter another URL or RETURN to quit: [] Your favorite WAIT server? [wait://ls6-www. put them on one line. The next time you run cpan.informatik.

type the following command: cpan> install Bundle::CPAN cpan> reload cpan You should then be able to install any perl module with a single command.pm module with all the trimmings. it will not install the module.org and install it manually. If you wish to force the install..4 Creating Modules for CPAN with h2xs If you wish to create a module that you intend to upload to CPAN.The first thing you will probably want to do is make sure you have the latest and greatest cpan.gz file 103 .tar. POD embeds documentation directly into the perl code.pm # edit module cd . > > > > > > > > > > h2xs -X -n Animal # create the structure cd Animal/lib # go into module dir edit Animal.t # edit test cd . 15. cpan> force install Tk Or you can get the tarball from www.cpan. > perldoc perldoc > perldoc NEXT > perldoc Data::Dumper 15. Perl comes with a builtin utility called "perldoc" which allows you to look up perl documentation in POD format./t # go into test dir edit Animal.tar. You do not need to know POD to write perl code. perl comes with a utility "h2xs" which.gz tarball that can be uploaded to CPAN and downloaded by others using the cpan..PL # create make file make # run make make test # run the test in t/ make dist # create a . This first command will create a directory called "Animal" and populate it with all the files you need. But you will want to know how to read POD from all the modules you download from CPAN. will create a minimal set of all the files needed. At the cpan shell prompt. then use the "force" command.pm module. among other things. The remainder of the commands show you what steps you need to take to create a . If cpan encounters any problems.3 Plain Old Documentation (POD) and perldoc Modules on CPAN are generally documented with POD. # go to make directory perl Makefile.

such as "-h" to get help. > anotherscript. Arguments might be a switch. 17 Command Line Arguments Scripts are often controlled by the arguments passed into it via the command line when the script is executed.txt -. A file might contain a number of options always needed to do a standard function.txt -v Options can have full and abbreviated versions to activate the same option.16 The Next Level You now know the fundamentals of procedural perl and object oriented perl.+define+FAST More advanced arguments: Single character switches can be lumped together.pl -in data. This would allow a user to use the option file and then add other options on the command line.pl -f optionfile. Some of perl's builtin features are somewhat limited and a CPAN module greatly enhances and/or simplifies its usage.txt" would be easier than putting those options on the command line each and every time that function is needed. and using "-f optionfile.txt 104 . you could say "-xyz".txt -f = options. -f=options. > thisscript. Options operate independent of spacing. Instead of "-x -y -z". > myscript. > thatscript. any new topics may include a discussion of a perl builtin feature or something available from CPAN. A "-in" switch might be followed by a filename to be used as input. > mytest.pl -in test42.pl -h A "-v" switch might turn verboseness on. Options can be stored in a separate file.pl -v Switches might by followed by an argument associated with the switch. The "--" argument could be used to indicate that arguments before it are to be used as perl arguments and that arguments after it are to be passed directly to a compiler program that the script will call. The option "-verbose" can also work as "-v".txt An argument could indicate to stop processing the remaining arguments and to process them at a later point in the script. From this point forward.

#!/usr/bin/env perl ###filename:script. The text on the command line is broken up anywhere whitespace occurs.pl" $VAR1 = [ '*.pl'. .pl *. > 'options. > script.pl "*. #!/usr/bin/env perl ###filename:script. 'test. use strict.pl use warnings. use Data::Dumper. > '-f'. use strict. 105 . print Dumper \@ARGV. use Data::Dumper./test.pl use warnings.txt then you will need to put it in quotes or your operating system will replace it with a list of files that match the wildcard pattern. If you need to pass in a wild-card such as *.txt'./test. > 'hello world' > ].pl' ]. print Dumper \@ARGV.txt "hello world" > $VAR1 = [ > '-v'.1 @ARGV Perl provides access to all the command line arguments via a global array @ARGV.17. > > > > > > > > > .pl -v -f options.pl $VAR1 = [ 'script. except for quoted strings.pl' ].

If you need to support more advanced command line arguments.} else { die "unknown argument '$arg'". you would want this to turn on debugging in any separate modules that you write.} elsif($arg eq '-d') {$debug=1. our $debug=0. code would check for $main::debug being true or false. The following example will handle simple command line arguments described above. if($arg eq '-h') {print_help. # create subroutines for options that do things sub print_help { print "-d for debug\n-f for filename\n". 106 . If you need to handle a few simple command line arguments in your script. while(scalar(@ARGV)) { my $arg=shift(@ARGV). Outside of package main.pl script. not just your script. Package "main" is the default package and a good place to put command line argument related variables. you should look at Getopt::Declare. } # get the first/next argument and process it. and move on to the next argument. or a lot of simple ones.} elsif($arg eq '-f') {$fn = shift(@ARGV). If you wrote a script that used "-d" to turn on debug information. # create a package variable for each option our $fn. then the above example of processing @ARGV one at a time is probably sufficient. process it. } } Package (our) variables are used instead of lexical (my) variables because command line arguments should be considered global and package variables are accessible everywhere.Simple processing of @ARGV would shift off the bottom argument.

-f. but will still be recognized if placed on the command line 107 . our $fn=''. arguments that are not defined in the declaration. > script. the global variables $fn and $debug are used with their full package name. and -d options could be written using Getopt::Declare like this: use Getopt::Declare. This is because Getopt::Declare recognizes -h to print out help based on the declaration. If [undocumented] is contained anywhere in the command line argument description.} is treated as executable code and evaled if the declared argument is encountered on the command line.pl -h >Options: > -in <filename> Define input file > -d Turn debugging On The argument declaration and the argument description is separated by one or more tabs in the string passed into Getopt::Declare. not that the starting curly brace must begin on its own line separate from the argument declaration and description. The text passed into Getopt::Declare is a multi-line quoted q() string. Also. it will print out the version of the file based on $main::VERSION (if it exists) and the date the file was saved. The text within the curly braces {$main::fn=$filename. } )). print "Debug is '$debug'\n". The <unknown> marker is used to define what action to take with unknown arguments. my $args = Getopt::Declare->new( q ( -in <filename> Define input file {$main::fn=$filename. our $debug=0. The above example with -h.2 Getopt::Declare The Getopt::Declare module allows for an easy way to define more complicated command line arguments. Notice that -h is not defined in the string. This string defines the arguments that are acceptable. Note that within the curly braces. then that argument will not be listed in the help text.17.} -d Turn debugging On {$main::debug=1. print "fn is '$fn'\n". Getopt::Declare recognizes -v as a version command line argument.} <unknown> { die "unknown arg '$unknown'\n". If -v is on the command line.

a declared argument will only be allowed to occur on the command line once. 5. calling finish() with a true value will cause the command line arguments to stop being processed at that point. Inside the curly braces. 17.(secret arguments) A [ditto] flag in the description will use the same text description as the argument just before it. Any arguments that are not defined will generate an error. It can be turned off with -quiet. Additional arguments can be placed in an external file and loaded with -args filename. Argument files can refer to other argument files. A short and long version of the same argument can be listed by placing the optional second half in square brackets: -verb[ose] This will recognize -verb and -verbose as the same argument. 4. 3. Normally. and any action associated with it. Filenames to be handled by the script can be listed on the command line without any argument prefix 2.2. If the argument can occur more than once. The Error() subroutine will report the name of the file containing any error while processing the arguments.1 Getopt::Declare Sophisticated Example The example on the next page shows Getopt::Declare being used more to its potential. Verbosity can be turned on with -verbose. 108 . 6. 1. An undocumented -Dump option turns on dumping. allowing nested argument files. Any options after a double dash (--) are left in @ARGV for later processing. place [repeatable] in the description.

$main::arg_file = $input. # -v will use this our @files.} <unknown> Filename [repeatable] { if($unknown!~m{^[-+]}) {push(@main::files. our $debug=0. 109 .# advanced command line argument processing use Getopt::Declare. our $arg_file='Command Line'.} -h Print Help {$main::myparser->usage.}} sub Error {die"Error: ".Argument separator {finish(1). $myparser->parse().} -.} my $grammar = q( -args <input> Arg file [repeatable] { unless(-e $input) {main::Error("no file '$input'"). our $dump=0.} else {main::Error("unknown arg '$unknown'"). $main::myparser->parse([$input]). } main::Verbose ("finished parsing '$input'\n"). our $myparser = new Getopt::Declare ($grammar.} -quiet Turn verbose Off {$main::verbose=0.} -verb[ose] Turn verbose On {$main::verbose=1.01. our $VERSION=1.} main::Verbose("Parsing '$input'\n").$unknown).} } ). sub Verbose {if($verbose){print $_[0]. our $verbose=0.['-BUILD']). } -d Turn debugging On {$main::debug=1.($_[0])." from '$arg_file'\n". { local($main::arg_file).} --Dump [undocumented] Dump on {$main::dump=1. main::Verbose ("returning to '$main::arg_file'\n").

e. perl will create a filehandle and assign it to that scalar. Clobber if already exists. The angle operator is the filehandle surrounded by angle brackets. DEFAULT. the loop reads the filehandle a line at a time until the end of file is reached. is the first character of the string. if present.2 close Once open. '>>' Append.18 File Input and Output Perl has a number of functions used for reading from and writing to files. This is available in perl version 5. you can close a filehandle by calling the close function and passing it the filehandle. The filename is a simple string. or append. Do not clobber existing file. write. Do not create. <$filehandle> When used as the boolean conditional controlling a while() loop. 18.6 and later and is the preferred method for dealing with filehandles. Create if non-existing. All file IO revolves around file handles. close($filehandle) or die "Could not close". Do not clobber existing file. The second argument to open() is the name of the file and an optional flag that indicates to open the file as read. '>' Write. 110 . and the flag. If no flag is specified. 18. i. then perl will automatically close the filehandle for you. If the filehandle is stored in a scalar. Each pass through the conditional test reads the next line from the file and places it in the $_ variable. and the scalar goes out of scope or is assigned undef. If the first argument to open() is an undefined scalar. use the open() function. 'filename. The valid flags are defined as follows: '<' Read. you can read from a filehandle a number of ways.3 read Once open. Create if non-existing. open(my $filehandle. the file defaults to being opened for read.txt') or die "Could not open file". The most common is to read the filehandle a line at a time using the "angle" operator. 18.1 open To generate a filehandle and attach it to a specific file.

This will read the next line from the filehandle. while(<$fh>) { $num++. address: $addr. my $line = $_. otherwise you hit the end of file. and you are just going through each line and parsing it. print $fh "a time\n". print $fh "upon\n". age: $age\n". print "Name: $name. my $age =nlin. '>output. open (my $fh. and you need to read it in a certain order.This script shows a cat -n style function. 'input. But it requires that you test the return value to make sure it is defined. 'input. you can wrap it up in a subroutine to hide the error checking. 111 . This is useful if you are reading a file where every line has a different meaning. print $fh "once\n".txt'). open (my $fh. return $line. use Carp.4 write If the file is opened for write or append. sub nlin { defined(my $line =<$fh>) or croak "premature eof".txt'). 18. close $fh. chomp($line). print "$num: $line\n". Another way to read from a filehandle is to assign the angle operator of the filehandle to a scalar. } my $name=nlin. You can then call the subroutine each time you want a line. defined(my $line = <$fh>) or die "premature eof". you can write to the filehandle using the print function. open (my $fh. } The above example is useful if every line of the file contains the same kind of information. To make a little more useful. my $addr=nlin. chomp($line). my $num=0.txt') or die "could not open".

5 File Tests Perl can perform tests on a file to glean information about the file. The "~" in Linux is a shell feature that is translated to the user's real directory path under the hood.txt" because "~" only means something to the shell.txt"). For example. Some common tests include: -e -f -d -l -r -w -z -p -S -T file file file file file file file file file file exists is a plain file is a directory is a symbolic link is readable is writable size is zero is a named pipe is a socket is a text file (perl's definition) 18. All the tests have the following syntax: -x FILE The "x" is a single character indicating the test to perform. To translate to a real directory path. 112 . All tests return a true (1) or false ("") value about the file.cshrc'). my @files = glob ( STRING_EXPRESSION ). This is also useful to translate Linux style "~" home directories to a usable file path.18.txt expression: my @textfiles = glob ("*. use glob(). my $startup_file = glob('~/. if you wish to get a list of all the files that end with a . Perl's open() function cannot open "~/list. FILE is a filename (string) or filehandle.6 File Globbing The glob() function takes a string expression and returns a list of files that match that expression using shell style filename expansion and translation.

} The process() subroutine is a subroutine that you define. find(\&process. my $pwd=`pwd`.6.1. chomp($pwd).txt files encountered and it avoids entering any CVS directories. the path to the file is available in $File::Find::dir and the name of the file is in $_. sub process { . If you process() was called on a file and not just a directory. use the File::Find module.} } For more information: perldoc File::Find 113 .} if((-d $fullname) and ($fullname=~m{CVS})) {$File::Find::prune=1.18. It is included in perl 5. sub process { my $fullname = $File::Find::name.$pwd). use File::Find.txt$}) {print "found text file $fullname\n". return.. Your process() subroutine can read this variable and perform whatever testing it wants on the fullname. The package variable $File::Find::name contains the name of the current file or directory. then find() will not recurse any further into the current directory. The process() subroutine will be called on every file and directory in $pwd and recursively into every subdirectory and file below. including searches down an entire directory structure.. if ($fullname =~ m{\. This process() subroutine prints out all .7 File Tree Searching For sophisticated searching. If your process() subroutine sets the package variable $File::Find::prune to 1.

19.system("command string"). 19. the output of the command goes to STDOUT.txt". you just want to know if it worked. The module provides the user with a "Go/Cancel" button and allows the user to cancel the command in the middle of execution if it is taking too long. The $string_results variable will contain all the text that would have gone to STDOUT. use the backtick operator. you should look into Tk::ExecuteCommand. So to use the system() function and check the return value. system($cmd)==0 or die "Error: could not '$cmd'". there is a third way to run system commands within your perl script.19 Operating System Commands Two ways to issue operating system commands within your perl script are the system function and the backtick operator. A simple example is the "finger" command on Linux. 114 . This is a very cool module that allows you to run system commands in the background as a separate process from you main perl script. The system() function executes the command string in a shell and returns you the return code of the command. If you call system() on the finger command. You can then process this in your perl script like any other string.1 The system() function If you want to execute some command and you do not care what the output looks like. which means the user will see the output scroll by on the screen.`command string`. but if you are doing system commands in perl and you are using Tk. a non-zero indicates some sort of error. 2.2 The Backtick Operator If you want to capture the STDOUT of a operating system command. then you will likely want to use the system() function. When you execute a command via the system() function. my $string_results = `finger username`. If you type: linux> finger username Linux will dump a bunch of text to STDOUT. and then it is lost forever.3 Operating System Commands in a GUI If your perl script is generating a GUI using the Tk package. We have not covered the GUI toolkit for perl (Tk). then you will want to use the backtick operator. 19. If you want to capture what goes to STDOUT and manipulate it within your script. In Linux. all this text will go to STDOUT and will be seen by the user when they execute your script. using the Tk::ExecuteCommand module. a return value of ZERO is usually good. 1. you might do something like this: my $cmd = "rm -f junk.

There are three different regular expression operators in perl: 1.match m{PATTERN} 2. such as {} or () or // or ## or just about any character you wish to use.20 Regular Expressions Regular expressions are the text processing workhorse of perl. This is functionally equivalent to this: $_ =~ m/patt/. adverbs. but I prefer to use m{} and s{}{} because they are clearer for me.transliterate tr{OLD_CHAR_SET}{NEW_CHAR_SET} Perl allows any delimiter in these operators. 's' for substitution. etc ). There are two ways to "bind" these operators to a string expression: 1. 115 . you can search strings for patterns. With regular expressions. find out what matched the patterns. Generic OOP structure can be represented as $subject -> verb ( adjectives.=~ pattern does match string expression 2.!~ pattern does NOT match string expression Binding can be thought of as "Object Oriented Programming" for regular expressions. Binding in Regular Expressions can be looked at in a similar fashion: $string =~ verb ( pattern ). You may see perl code that simply looks like this: /patt/. and substitute the matched patterns with new strings. The most common delimiter used is probably the m// and s/// delimiters. where "verb" is limited to 'm' for match. and 'tr' for translate.substitute s{OLDPATTERN}{NEWPATTERN} 3.

20. # simple encryption. > > > > *deleted spam* my car is a jaguar encrypted: Ubj V ybir gurr. if($email =~ m{Free Offer}) {$email="*deleted spam*\n". $love_letter =~ tr{A-Za-z}{N-ZA-Mn-za-m}. The above examples all look for fixed patterns within the string. Caesar cypher my $love_letter = "How I love thee. $love_letter =~ tr{A-Za-z}{N-ZA-Mn-za-m}. Regular expressions also allow you to look for patterns with different types of "wildcards". my $actual = "Toyota". my $car = "My car is a Toyota\n". # upgrade my car my $car = "my car is a toyota\n". subjecting the pattern to one pass of variable interpolation as if the pattern were contained in double-quotes.Here are some examples: # spam filter my $email = "This is a great Free Offer\n". > My car is a Jaguar 116 . print "$car\n".1 Variable Interpolation The braces that surround the pattern act as double-quote marks. $car =~ s{$actual}{$wanted}. print $car. my $wanted = "Jaguar". decrypted: How I love thee. print "decrypted: $love_letter\n".\n". } print "$email\n". This allows the pattern to be contained within variables and interpolated during the regular expression. $car =~ s{toyota}{jaguar}. print "encrypted: $love_letter".

117 .3 Defining a Pattern A pattern can be a literal pattern such as {Free Offer}. ########################### $line =~ m{size: (\d+)}. print "$name.dat.txt.txt size: 1024 filename: input.20. my $size = $1. # the "+" means "one or more" #################################### if($line =~ m{filename: (\S+)}) { my $name = $1.$size\n". It can contain wildcards such as {\d}. my @lines = split "\n".dat size: 512 filename: address. It can also contain metacharacters such as the parenthesis. 0-9". ########################### # \d is a wildcard meaning # "any digit. the parenthesis were in the pattern but did not occur in the string.1048576 20. foreach my $line (@lines) { #################################### # \S is a wildcard meaning # "anything that is not white-space".db size: 1048576 MARKER . Notice in the above example. each containing the pattern {filename: } followed by one or more non-whitespace characters forming the actual filename. we process an array of lines. Each line also contains the pattern {size: } followed by one or more digits that indicate the actual size of that file.2 Wildcard Example In the example below.db. <<"MARKER" filename: output. } } > output.1024 > input. yet the pattern matched.512 > address.

20. [ ] grouping (clustering) and capturing grouping (clustering) only. The following are metacharacters in perl regular expression patterns: \ | ( ) [ ] { } ^ $ * + ? . match any single character in class * (quantifier): match previous item zero or more times + (quantifier): match previous item one or more times ? (quantifier): match previous item zero or one time { } (quantifier): match previous item a number of times in given range ^ (position marker): beginning of string (or possibly after "\n") $ (position marker): end of string (or possibly before "\n") 118 . \ (backslash) if next character combined with this backslash forms a character class shortcut. | alternation: (patt1 | patt2) means (patt1 OR patt2) ( ) (?: ) . Instead they tell perl to interpret the metacharacter (and sometimes the characters around metacharacter) in a different way.4 Metacharacters Metacharacters do not get interpreted as literal characters. then match that character class. (somewhat faster) match any single character (usually not "\n") define a character class. If not a shortcut. no capturing. then simply treat next character as a non-metacharacter.

match previous item zero or more # match '' or 'z' or 'zz' or 'zzz' or 'zzzzzzzz' if($str =~ m{z*}){warn "asterisk"." ... if($str =~ m{c. Experiment with what matches and what does not match the different regular expression patterns.. matches end of string # match 'John' only if it occurs at end of string if($str =~ m{John$}){warn "dollar".t}){warn "period". and 'fffffast' if($str =~ m{f{3." $str = "Dear sir.. 119 .. matches beginning of string # match 'Dear' only if it occurs at start of string if($str =~ m{^Dear}){warn "caret".. question at ..} # ? quantifier.5}ast}){warn "curly brace".} # ^ position marker. 'ffffast'...} # () grouping and capturing # match 'goodday' or 'goodbye' if($str =~ m{(good(day|bye))}) {warn "group matched. " Sincerely. any single character # match 'cat' 'cbt' 'cct' 'c%t' 'c+t' 'c?t' . class at . plus sign at . John".. period at . match previous... captured '$1'". hello and goodday! " dogs and cats and sssnakes put me to sleep. previous item is optional # match only 'dog' and 'dogs' if($str =~ m{dogs?}){warn "question".} # + quantifier. Change the value assigned to $str and re-run the script. match previous item one or more # match 'snake' 'ssnake' 'sssssssnake' if($str =~ m{s+nake}){warn "plus sign".} # $ position marker.} # [] define a character class: 'a' or 'o' or 'u' # match 'cat' 'cot' 'cut' if($str =~ m{c[aou]t}){warn "class". asterisk at .Examples below. my . Hummingbirds are ffffast." zzzz.. captured 'goodday' at .. # | alternation # match "hello" or "goodbye" if($str =~ m{hello|goodbye}){warn "alt".} # * quantifier. 3 <= qty <= 5 # match only 'fffast'.} # ." . group matched.} > > > > > > > alt at .} # {} quantifier...

etc Capturing parentheses Clustering parentheses will also Capture the part of the string that matched the pattern within parentheses. $2. so we do not need to capture the "day|bye" part of the pattern. we want to cluster "day|bye" so that the alternation symbol "|" will go with "day" or "bye". > Hello. my $last = $2. if($str =~ m{(good(?:day|bye))}) {warn "group matched. The pattern contains capturing parens around the entire pattern. Clustering affects the order of evaluation similar to the way parentheses affect the order of evaluation within a mathematical expression. my $first = $1. sometimes you just want to cluster without the overhead of capturing. ############################################ # $1 $2 $test=~m{Firstname: (\w+) Lastname: (\w+)}. The captured values are accessible through some "magical" variables called $1.5. print "Hello. … variables. starting at 1. Normally. my $test="Firstname: John Lastname: Smith". multiplication has a higher precedence than addition. 20. In the below example. > dollar at . Without the clustering parenthesis.. yielding the result of "20". rather than "goodday" or "goodbye". The expression "2 + 3 * 4" does the multiplication first and then the addition.1 $1.> curly brace at .. Each left parenthesis increments the number used to access the captured string.} 120 .. $3. $2. $2.5 Capturing and Clustering Parenthesis Normal parentheses will both cluster and capture the pattern they contain. Clustering parentheses work in the same fashion. matching "cats" or null string. $first $last\n". the pattern would match "goodday" or "bye". The pattern {cats?} will apply the "?" quantifier to the letter "s". John Smith Because capturing takes a little extra time to store the captured result into the $1. 20. yielding the result of "14". The left parenthesis are counted from left to right as they occur within the pattern. matching either "cat" or "cats". > caret at . ... captured '$1'". $3.. The pattern {(cats)?} will apply the "?" quantifier to the entire pattern within the parentheses. therefore we use cluster-only parentheses. The expression "(2 + 3) * 4" forces the addition to occur first...

Cluster-only parenthesis don't capture the enclosed pattern, and they don't count when determining
which magic variable, $1, $2, $3 ..., will contain the values from the
capturing parentheses.
my $test = 'goodday John';
##########################################
#
$1
$2
if($test =~ m{(good(?:day|bye)) (\w+)})
{ print "You said $1 to $2\n"; }
> You said goodday to John

20.5.2 Capturing parentheses not capturing
If a regular expression containing capturing parentheses does not match the string, the magic variables
$1, $2, $3, etc will retain whatever PREVIOUS value they had from any PREVIOUS regular
expression. This means that you MUST check to make sure the regular expression matches BEFORE
you use the $1, $2, $3, etc variables.
In the example below, the second regular expression does not match, therefore $1 retains its old value
of 'be'. Instead of printing out something like "Name is Horatio" or "Name is" and failing on an
undefined value, perl instead keeps the old value for $1 and prints "Name is 'be'", instead.
my $string1 = 'To be, or not to be';
$string1 =~ m{not to (\w+)}; # matches, $1='be'
warn "The question is to $1";
my $string2 = 'that is the question';
$string2 =~ m{I knew him once, (\w+)}; # no match
warn "Name is '$1'";
# no match, so $1 retains its old value 'be'
> The question is to be at ./script.pl line 7.
> Name is 'be' at ./script.pl line 11.

20.6 Character Classes
The "." metacharacter will match any single character. This is equivalent to a character class that
includes every possible character. You can easily define smaller character classes of your own using
the square brackets []. Whatever characters are listed within the square brackets are part of that
character class. Perl will then match any one character within that class.
[aeiouAEIOU] any vowel
[0123456789] any digit

121

20.6.1 Metacharacters Within Character Classes
Within the square brackets used to define a character class, all previously defined metacharacters cease
to act as metacharacters and are interpreted as simple literal characters. Characters classes have their
own special metacharacters.
\
(backslash) demeta the next character
-

(hyphen) Indicates a consecutive character range, inclusively.
[a-f] indicates the letters a,b,c,d,e,f.
Character ranges are based off of ASCII numeric values.

^

If it is the first character of the class, then this indicates the class
is any character EXCEPT the ones in the square brackets.
Warning: [^aeiou] means anything but a lower case vowel. This
is not the same as "any consonant". The class [^aeiou] will
match punctuation, numbers, and unicode characters.

20.7 Shortcut Character Classes
Perl has shortcut character classes for some more common classes.
shortcut

class

description

\d

[0-9]

any digit

\D

[^0-9]

any NON-digit

\s

[ \t\n\r\f]

any whitespace

\S

[^ \t\n\r\f]

any NON-whitespace

\w

[a-zA-Z0-9_]

any word character (valid perl identifier)

\W

[^a-zA-Z0-9_]

any NON-word character

122

20.8 Greedy (Maximal) Quantifiers
Quantifiers are used within regular expressions to indicate how many times the previous item occurs
within the pattern. By default, quantifiers are "greedy" or "maximal", meaning that they will match as
many characters as possible and still be true.
*

match zero or more times (match as much as possible)

+

match one or more times (match as much as possible)

?

match zero or one times (match as much as possible)

{count}

match exactly "count" times

{min, }

match at least "min" times (match as much as possible)

{min,max} match at least "min" and at most "max" times
(match as much as possible)

20.9 Thrifty (Minimal) Quantifiers
Placing a "?" after a quantifier disables greediness, making them "non-greedy", "thrifty", or "minimal"
quantifiers. Minimal quantifiers match as few characters as possible and still be true.
*?
match zero or more times
(match as little as possible and still be true)
+?

match one or more times
(match as little as possible and still be true)

{min,}?

match at least min times
(match as little as possible and still be true)

{min, max}?

match at least "min" and at most "max" times
(match as little as possible and still be true)

This example shows the difference between minimal and maximal quantifiers.
my $string = "12340000";
if($string =~ m{^(\d+)0+$})
{ print "greedy '$1'\n"; }
if($string =~ m{^(\d+?)0+$})
{ print "thrifty '$1'\n"; }
> greedy '1234000'
> thrifty '1234'

123

If the /m (multiline) modifier is present. the pattern before and after that anchor must occur within a certain position within the string. 1) at a transition from a \w character to a \W character 2) at a transition from a \W character to a \w character 3) at the beginning of the string 4) at the end of the string \B NOT \b \G usually used with /g modifier (probably want /c modifier too). if($test1=~m{\bjump\b}) { print "test1 matches\n". unless($test2=~m{\bjump\b}) { print "test2 does not match\n". $ Matches the end of the string. Not affected by /m modifier. If the /m (multiline) modifier is present. some symbols do not translate into a character or character class. \A Match the beginning of string only. \Z Matches the end of the string only. If this is the first regular expression begin performed on the string then \G will match the beginning of the string. Instead. Not affected by /m modifier. 20. Use the pos() function to get and set the current \G position within the string. } > test1 matches > test2 does not match 124 . This example matches "jump" but not "jumprope": my $test1='He can jump very high. but will chomp() a "\n" if that was the last character in string. \z Match the end of string only.'. If a position anchor occurs within a pattern.20. matches "\n" also.10. they translate into a "position" within the string. matches "\n" also.'. Indicates the position after the character of the last pattern match performed on the string. ^ Matches the beginning of the string. \b word "b"oundary A word boundary occurs in four places.1 The \b Anchor Use the \b anchor when you want to match a whole word pattern but not part of a word. } my $test2='Pick up that jumprope.10 Position Assertions / Position Anchors Inside a regular expression pattern.

This will allow a series of regular expressions to operate on a string.10. The \G anchor represents the position within the string where the previous regular expression finished. Assigning to pos($str) will change the position of the \G anchor for that string. The first time a regular expression is performed on a string. using the \G anchor to indicate the location where the previous regular expression finished. the \G anchor represents the beginning of the string. The location of the \G anchor within a string can be determined by calling the pos() function on the string.2 The \G Anchor The \G anchor is a sophisticated anchor used to perform a progression of many regular expression pattern matches on the same string. The pos() function will return the character index in the string (index zero is to the left of the first character in the string) representing the location of the \G anchor. Without the "cg" modifiers. the first regular expression that fails to match will reset the \G anchor back to zero. The \G anchor is usually used with the "cg" modifiers.20. The "cg" modifiers tell perl to NOT reset the \G anchor to zero if the regular expression fails to match. 125 .

pos($str). } $str=~m{\GBookcollection: }cg. } > > > > > > > > pos is 16 pos is 32 book is 'Programming Perl' pos is 65 book is 'Perl Cookbook' pos is 80 book is 'Impatient Perl' pos is 95 Another way to code the above script is to use substitution regular expressions and substitute each matched part with empty strings. the speed difference would not be noticeable to the user.?}cg) { print "book is '$1'\n". Impatient Perl".pos($str). print "pos is ". In the above example."\n". Perl Cookbook. my $str = "Firstname: John Lastname: Smith Bookcollection: Programming Perl. while($str=~m{\G\s*([^. Notice how the pos() value keeps increasing. print "pos is ".pos($str). resulting in a much slower script. After every regular expression."\n". but if you have a script that is parsing through a lot of text. print "pos is ". if($str=~m{\GFirstname: (\w+) }cg) { my $first = $1."\n". the script prints the pos() value of the string. 126 . the difference can be quite significant. } if($str=~m{\GLastname: (\w+) }cg) { my $last = $1.]+). The problem is that a substitution creates a new string and copies the remaining characters to that string.The example below uses the \G anchor to extract bits of information from a single string.

CaT. ^ and $ position anchors will only match literal beginning and end of string. s treat string as a Single line.20.2 The m And s Modifiers The default behavior of perl regular expressions is "m". This allows the pattern to be spread out over multiple lines and for regular perl comments to be inserted within the pattern but be ignored by the regular expression engine. Modifiers are placed after the regular expression." will NOT match "\n" ^ and $ position anchors will match literal beginning and end of string and also "\n" characters within the string. ^ and $ indicate start/end of "line" instead of start/end of string. 20.11. s{}{}. i case Insensitive. m{cat}i matches cat. $str =~ tr{oldset}{newset}modifiers. 20. CAt. 127 ." will match "\n" within the string. etc x ignore spaces and tabs and carriage returns in pattern. $str =~ s{oldpatt}{newpatt}modifiers. (DEFAULT) ". Cat. perl will default to "m" behavior. CAT. outside any curly braces.1 Global Modifiers The following modifiers can be used with m{}. ^ matches after "\n" $ matches before "\n" o compile the pattern Once. ". $str =~ m{pattern}modifiers. treating strings as a multiple lines. possible speed improvement. or tr{}{}.11.11 Modifiers Regular expressions can take optional modifiers that tell perl additional information about how to interpret the regular expression. m treat string as Multiple lines. If neither a "m" or "s" modifier is used on a regular expression.

"Perl Cookbook\n" . This example shows the exact same pattern bound to the exact same string. the "$" anchor will match the end of the string or any "\n" characters. and the ".*)}) { print "default is '$1'\n". if($string =~ m{Library: (. } if($string =~ m{Library: (. } if($string =~ m{Library: (.If the "m" modifier is used. then the "^" anchor will match the beginning of the string or "\n" characters." class will match any character including "\n". If the "s" modifier is used."Impatient Perl". using "^" and "$" to indicate start and end of lines. The only difference is the modifier used on the regular expression. the "s" modifier forces perl to treat it as a single line. The single line version prints out the captured pattern across three different lines. the "$" anchor will only match the literal end of string. even if the string is multiple lines with embedded "\n" characters. then the default behavior (the "m" behavior) is to treat the string as multiple lines. If a string contains multiple lines separated by "\n". the captured string includes the newline "\n" characters which shows up in the printed output." character set will match any character EXCEPT "\n". Notice in the "s" version. and the ". then the "^" anchor will only match the literal beginning of the string.*)}m) { print "multiline is '$1'\n". With the "s" modifier. my $string = "Library: Programming Perl \n" . } > > > > > default is 'Programming Perl ' multiline is 'Programming Perl ' singleline is 'Programming Perl Perl Cookbook Impatient Perl' 128 .*)}s) { print "singleline is '$1'\n".

23423' exponent is ' e -12' A couple of notes for the above example: The x modifier strips out all spaces. my $string = '.20. "fraction is '$fraction'\n". it must be explicitly stated using \s or \t or \n or some similar character class. Also. The following pattern is looking for a number that follows scientific notation.134. it's always a good idea to anchor your regular expression somewhere in your string.3 The x Modifier The x modifier allows a complex regular expression pattern to be spread out over multiple lines. tabs. with "^" or "$" or "\G". my $integer = $2 || ''. Most whitespace within a pattern with the x modifier is ignored. 129 .11. } > > > > sign is '-' integer is '134' fraction is '.23423 e -12'. The double-pipe expressions guarantee that the variables are assigned to whatever the pattern matched or empty string if no match occurred. print print print print "sign is '$sign'\n". \d+ )? # fractional is optional ( \s* e \s* [+-]? \d+)? # exponent is optional }x ) { my $sign = $1 || ''. and carriage returns in the pattern. Without them. an unmatched pattern match will yield an "undef" in the $1 (or $2 or $3) variable associated with the match. If the pattern expects whitespace in the string. if( $string =~ m { ^ \s* ([-+]?) # positive or negative or optional \s* ( \d+ ) # integer portion ( \. "exponent is '$exponent'\n". my $exponent = $4 || ''. The pattern is spread out over multiple lines with comments to support maintainability. for easier reading. my $fraction = $3 || ''. "integer is '$integer'\n". with comments.

20. This maintains the \G marker at its last matched position. m{} will find the first occurrence of the pattern. returning a value that can be stored in a scalar for pattern matching at a later time. 20.12 Modifiers For m{} Operator The following modifiers apply to the m{pattern} operator only: g Globally find all matchs.\d+)?\s*(?:e\s*[+-]?\s*\d+)?}. the result of the expression becomes the replacement string. 130 . 20.13 Modifiers for s{}{} Operator The following modifiers apply to the s{oldpatt}{newpatt} operator only. # remove perl comments next if($str =~ m{^\s*$}). c Complement the searchlist d Delete found but unreplaced characters s Squash duplicate replaced characters 20. check out the Regexp::Common module on CPAN.14 Modifiers for tr{}{} Operator The following modifiers apply to the tr{oldset}{newset} operator only. cg Continue search after Global search fails.16 Common Patterns Some simple and common regular expression patterns are shown here: $str =~ s{\s}{}g.# next if only whitespace For common but more complicated regular expressions. my $number = qr{[+-]?\s*\d+(?:\. # remove all whitespace $str =~ s{#.20. Without this modifier. g Globally replace all occurrences of oldpatt with newpatt e interpret newpatt as a perl-based string Expression. Without this modifier.*}{}. the \G marker is reset to zero if the pattern does not match.15 The qr{} function The qr{} function takes a string and interprets it as a regular expression.

The hash lookup can be used directly within your regular expression: use Regexp::Common.}))?)(?: (?:[E])(?:(?:[+-]?)(?:[0123456789]+))|)) As complicated as this is. print "match is '$1'\n".423E-42 the number". faulty. integers and floating point numbers of different bases. regular expression patterns (balanced parentheses and brackets. email addresses. > match is '-12. it is a lot easier to reuse someone else's code than to try and reinvent your own. print "$patt\n". but fairly complicated. Here is how to find out what the floating point number pattern looks like in Regexp::Common: use Regexp::Common. perl scripts that use it will have a "magic" hash called %RE imported into their namespace.17 Regexp::Common The Regexp::Common module contains many common. and others). cpan> install Regexp::Common Once Regexp::Common is installed. my $patt = $RE{num}{real}. $str =~ m{($RE{num}{real})}. The keys to this hash are human understandable names. it might be worth a moment to check out Regexp::Common and see if someone already did the work to match the pattern you need. lopsided. wheel. the data in the hash are the patterns to use within regular expressions.20. delimited text with escapes. my $str = "this is -12. If you are doing some complicated pattern matching.])(?:[0123456789]{0.])(?: [0123456789]*)(?:(?:[.423E-42' 131 . > (?:(?i)(?:[+-]?)(?:(?=[0123456789]|[.

Instead.21 Parsing with Parse::RecDescent Perl's regular expression patterns are sufficient for many situations. firstname. phonenumber. 132 . The data is always in a fixed location. If the data being parsed is not quite so rigid in its definition. the Parse::RecDescent module may prove useful in that it allows whole gramatical rules to be defined. and the module parses the data according to those rules. city. address. such as extracting information out of a tab separated database that is organized by lastname. Parse::RecDescent uses regular expression styled patterns to define grammar rules. cpan> install Parse::RecDescent Parse::RecDescent describes itself as a module that incrementally generates top-down recursivedescent text parsers from simple yacc-like grammar specifications. regular expressions may become a cumbersome means to extract the desired data. and a regular expression can be used to perform searches within that data. and these rules can be combined fairly easily to create complex rules. dateof-birth. state. ZIP. In simpler terms.

\n".\n". > He's dead. Jim!\n". not a magician! press <CTL><D> when finished > Dammit. print "Dammit. print "try typing these lines:\n". I'm a doctor. print "> ". not a" job "!" "Just do what you can. my $grammar McCoy: curse ". Jim. Bones. } > > > > > > > > > > > > try typing these lines: He's dead. } "dead. print "press <CTL><D> when finished\n". I'm a doctor. Jim! Dammit." { print | pronoun { print | <error> = q{ name ". Bones. not a magician!\n". I'm a doctor. Jim. Bones. Jim! Shut up. > You green blooded Vulcan! ERROR (line 1): Invalid McCoy: Was expecting curse. while(<>) { $parse->McCoy($_). or pronoun 133 . print "> ". Bones. print "He's dead. I'm a doctor.} curse: 'Dammit' | 'Goddammit' name: 'Jim' | 'Spock' | 'Scotty' job: 'magician' | 'miracle worker' | 'perl hacker' pronoun: "He's" | "She's" | "It's" | "They're" }." name "!" "Shut up. Jim. my $parse = new Parse::RecDescent($grammar).Here is a quick example from perldoc Parse::RecDescent use Parse::RecDescent. not a magician! Just do what you can.

Parse::RecDescent is not the solution for every pattern matching problem. Parse::RecDescent uses perl"s regular expression patterns in its pattern matching. If the data you are mining is fairly complex. And Parse::RecDescent has an additional learning curve above and beyond perl's regular expressions. Parse::RecDescent is slower than simple regular expressions. the more rules. Parse::RecDescent currently must read in the entire text being parsed. the longer it takes to run. 134 . and normal regular expressions are becoming difficult to manage. which can be a problem if you are parsing a gigabyte-sized file. Since it recursively descends through its set of rules. then Parse::RecDescent would be the next logical module to look at. so you need to learn basic regular expression patterns before you use Parse::RecDescent.

the Tk module has a widget demonstration program that can be run from the command line to see what widgets are available and what they look like. drawing the GUI. etc. MainLoop. 135 . and Tk So far. At the command line. I recommend the "Mastering Perl/Tk" book. User input and output occurred through the same command line used to execute the perl script itself.} )->grid(-row=>1.22 Perl. The ->grid method invokes the geometry manager on the widget and places it somewhere in the GUI (without geometry management. Several large books have been written about the Tk GUI toolkit for perl. a small GUI will popup on the screen (the MainWindow item) with a button (the $top->Button call) labeled "Hello" (the -text option). the widget will not show up in the GUI). $top->Button ( -text=>"Hello". -command=>sub{print "Hi\n". The MainLoop is a subroutine call that invokes the event loop. If you plan on creating GUI's in your scripts. Perl has a Graphical User Interface (GUI) toolkit module available on CPAN called Tk. my $top=new MainWindow. type "widget" to run the demonstration program. And it would be impossible to give any decent introduction to this module in a page or two. > widget Here is a simple "hello world" style program using Tk: use Tk. When the mouse left-clicks on the button. When the above example is executed. Once installed. the word "Hi" is printed to the command line (the -command option). GUI. cpan> install Tk The Tk module is a GUI toolkit that contains a plethora of buttons and labels and entry items and other widgets needed to create a graphical user interface to your scripts. responding to button clicks.-column=>1). all the examples have had a command line interface.

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........................................................................................105 Command Line Arguments...........................................................................32 $........................................................... STRING......................................................................................................................................................................... Getopt::Declare.......................................................................................................................................................................13 conditional operator.........................................................................................................................................................................................................76 complex data structures............................104 comparison ..........................................................................................................................................76 bless......................................................................25 comparison operator........................................23 caller......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................88 Capturing and Clustering Parenthesis............32 Autovivification..........................121 CHECK......25 compiling................................................................................................................................................98 bless REFERENCE..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................114 base conversion.....................................................................................................................................................25 code reference.............................................................53 concatenation.............................................................................................................................................69 argument passing................................................................................................................................................83p.................................................................................................32 @.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................110 closures...................................................................................78 command line................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................54 backtick.................71 code reuse....................83 blessed invocant........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................120 Character Classes.............................28 continue................................................74 can............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................76 chomp....................................................................................................................................................56 close............................................................................................94 clone............................................................................................70 array...............................................................................................................Alphabetical Index abs..........26 anonymous.................................................................66 cmp......................89 boolean............................................................107 @ARGV....................................................................................................................................................................................................13 class.....................................59 control flow.......................................................................70 anonymous subroutines............................................................................................................16 AND............................. bless / constructors..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................51 anonymous subroutine..............................................................................................................................................................................................21 BEGIN..................59 144 ..................................................................................................................................

.............................100 CPAN.......................................................................................cos.............................................................................................12 e......................................................................................................................................................................................110 File IO............................................................................17 CPAN............................................................................................................................................41 exp............................................................................................................................112 -l........................................................................................................................................................................................... file glob.........................................................................................................18 each.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................56 deep clone.........................................59 foreach........................................................................................................................................................................................................... The Perl Module............................................................................................................................................................................................................................43 else................................. 59 145 ......................................103 Data Persistence............................................76 eq.................................................................................................................................23p.................................................................................................50 dereferencing code references.....................110 write.......................................................................................................17 false..............................................................................25 equal to...............................110 open........................112 File Tests.........................................................................82 exists.................................... close.................................100 CPAN........................112 File::Find.......................................................................................................................................................................................113 for................................111 File Test..............................................................................42 dereference......... -d............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................71 double quote............................................................................................................................56 defined..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................112 File Input and Output.............................112 -f..........................................................................................................56 dclone..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................59 elsif...................22 delete................110 read......................................................................................................................................................................112 -z.......................................................................................................................112 -r.......................................100 Creating Modules.......................................................................25 execution timeline...............................................112 -S.............................................................................................................................................................................112 -e...............................................................................................................................................................................................18 exponentiation..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................59 END......................................................................................36....................112 -p...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... The Web Site.........................................................................................................................................................................112 -w.....................................112 -T.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

.............................................................................................................................................................................................................127 Global Modifiers (regular expressions)................garbage collection..............................................................85 INVOCANT->can(METHODNAME)...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................42 label...........88 INVOCANT->isa(BASEPACKAGE).............................................................................................................................................................................................................25 length................................................................................................................................ binary.......................................................................................................16 interpreting............................107 glob.....................................................................................................................103 hash......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................135 h2xs......................................................................................112 Global Modifiers.......................................................................................................63 lexical variable.......................................................................25 GUI and Perl::Tk................................................................................................................................................18 146 ................................................................................................................................................................16 octal................................................................................................................18 log_x_base_b....................12 local.............................................................................................................................25 greater than or equal to..................................................................................25 lexical scope....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................25 less than or equal to .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................59 imaginary numbers....................................123 gt..........63 list..................................39 $............................. 99 INIT.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................76 int......................................................................................... ge...................................16 hexadecimal.........................................................................................21 hexadecimal.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................127 greater than............................................................16 string..........64p........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................60 last...............................................................................47 literal.................................17 import......................................................................................88 join....13 less than........................................................................................................................................15 hex....................................................................................60 le.... Inheritance..............................................................................................................................................86..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................68 log.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................76 INVOCANT -> METHOD.............................................................................................40 here document.....................................................................................................................................16 if...................................................................................................................................................................................................................25 Greedy (Maximal) Quantifiers.......................................................................................................88 isa..............................................79pp..........................................................................................................14 keys......................................................25 Getopt::Declare.................................................

..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 named referent...................................................................................................................................... literal.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................17 Metacharacters Within Character Classes...................................16 open................................................................61 natural logarithms............................................83 Object Oriented Perl............................................................18 ne.................................114 OR.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................25 nstore.........99 Modules.....26 our.............................................................................................61 Parse::RecDescent..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................26 lt.....................................................................................................................................................................................................55 multiline string.............................................62 Overriding Methods .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................16 numeric.................................................................................50 named subroutine...........................................................................................................110 Operating System Commands.....97 object oriented perl.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................logical operators..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................85 Methods........................................................................................................................................98 multidimensional array.....................................................................................69 named subroutines.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................16 rounding........................................................122 method calls...................................................17 Math::Trig.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................80 147 .................................90 Object Oriented Review...............................................................................................60 NOT.................25 next..................................................................................................................................................................................132 perl modules..................................................................................114 backtick...........................................................................................................................................................................114 `.........................................................................................................................................25 m/patt/..........................................................................................................................................................114 system...................................................................................................................................................................................26 not equal to.............................................................................................................................................61 package main................................................98 oct.....................................................99 package............................................................114 Tk::ExecuteCommand..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................56 numbers................................................................................................................................115 Math::Complex.................................................................69 namespace.........61 package qualified variable ......................................17 numify...........................................78 PERL5LIB...................................20 Object Destruction..........................................................................21 octal............................................

.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................124 push...............121 clustering......................38 148 .......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... 84 reference..........................................................78 reverse.................................................................................................................................120 Character Classes............................................................120 repetition...............57..................................................................115 a character class........12 single......................................................................................115 Metacharacters....................................................................................................................................perldoc...............................................................................122 Thrifty (Minimal) Quantifiers..13 require...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... $3.....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................110 redo.........................................................................................................................................................124 quantifier............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................18 read.......................73 reuse.......................................................................................................................................49.................................................................................................................................131 Regular Expressions................. doube.............117 !~................................................................................................................................18 random numbers...........................................................................................................................................................34 Position Assertions / Position Anchors..........................................................................................................123 grouping..............................................................................115 $1..................................................................... retrieve............................................................. 15 rand...........................................................................................................................................................................118 capturing...........................................................................................118 Position Assertions / Position Anchors................................................................................................................117 Global Modifiers...........................................................................94 pop.79p....................................................127 Greedy (Maximal) Quantifiers..................................118 alternation...................................................................103 Plain Old Documentation.........................................................................................12................................................................................................................................................60 ref............................................................................................................................................................................................12 qw..........................................118 Defining a Pattern....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................49 referent.......................118 m/patt/................................................................................................................................................................................................................ $2...........................................................................................................................................................................................34 quote.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................56 return.............................................103 Polymorphism.........118 Capturing and Clustering Parenthesis...........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................115 =~................103 POD..........................................123 Variable Interpolation..................................................................................................116 Wildcard Example............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................ 84 Regexp::Common.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................118 Shortcut Character Classes..................................................

69 anonymous..............114 ternary operator..........................................................................................................................................................................................................19 sqrt........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................69 closures............................................................................................................12 $........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................rounding.........................................80 use Module....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................... double quote.....................................................................................................................................28 Thrifty (Minimal) Quantifiers........17 srand............................................................................................................................................................19 subroutine...............................................................................................................pm...................................................................98 149 ................................................22 unless...................................122 sin..........................................................12 stringify.......................................17 scalar..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................16 string..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................39 split.............................................................................................................123 Tk::ExecuteCommand.......17 trinary operator.........................................................................................................87 use lib...........................................................59 unshift.......................................................................................................................................................................................... undefined.........................................35 Shortcut Character Classes.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................56 string...................28 true...................................................11....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................69 substr........................................................................................... 33 Autovivify.............................................................12 single quote.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................114 trigonometry.................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................37 spaceship operator.................13 SUPER.....................................................................66 subroutine return value............................................14 sprintf..........95 system................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................70 subroutine closures.................73 subroutines...................................................12 numbers.....................................................................17 single quote....................18 Storable.......................................................................................................................................................... argument passing..............................................................................................................................................................25 splice................................................................................................................................................35 use.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................99 SUPER::...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................12 sort.............23p...............................................11 shift...78 use base MODULENAME........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................66 named.....................................................................................................................................

......................................................................................112 -p..................................................111 ==..........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................112 -l..................................................................................................................................................................................112 -z...........................26 XOR..........................................................................112 -f.............................................................................................................................25 <=>............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................25 ||.........................................................................................................121 @...................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................use MODULENAME...................................................................25 <$fh>...............................................................112 :.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................32 @_...............................................................................................................................................43 wantarray..............................................28 '..........................................................................................................................................................................................................124 \G.....................28 !..................................................................................................................................................................................................................................15 <=.112 -S...........................................................................................................................................................................................................25 >=.................................25 <<.........................................................................................................................................................................................26 $.......................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................115 ?............................................................................................................................26 -d.....................................................................................................................................................................11 150 ..............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................112 -w.....................................112 -r.......................................87 **.............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................112 -T............................................................112 -e..........................................................75 while..............................................................................12 []..........................111 xor............................................................................................................................................................................................................................12 "..................................................................................................................................59 write.......................................................................................................................................................25 !~..........................................................................................................79 @ISA....................................................17 \b................................71 @ARGV..........................................................115 >....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................112 -x..................105 @INC..........................................................................................................11 scalar...............................................26 !=.................................................................................................................................................................................................................125 &&........................................................................26 <...............................................................................................................................................79 values.................................................................25 =~.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

........ $3........................... $2...... 151 .....................................................$1....................120 The End..................................

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